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Always build up, never break down.

Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Always build up, never break down. - 04/30/19 04:59 AM

I thought I would share this post as something teachers of all disciplines should meditate upon when dealing with their students and something students can consider to help them measure the relationship they have with their teacher. The original post can be found here: https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=65615.0


The best teachers I have come across not only in terms of music are those who have built me up first without breaking me down. This is the sign of the "good fruits" of a good teacher that they will build you up without dismantling your current abilities or make you feel a failure or that you have wasted your time in the past or that anything you learned in the past cannot help you in the future. They will meet you at your level and build you up.

A poor teacher will ignore your past and expect you to recreate yourself immediately and if you are unable you are left feeling a failure and it is all your fault. You feel guilty, stupid, useless, nothing is able to be built up because you are so distraught that what you had before is useless. The teacher will blame you for your inability to recreate yourself or keep up with their regieme, they are unbending in the way they teach if you cannot follow their method "to the t" then you simply are not worthy of improving. They ignore your personal journey, they have no sensitivity to connect with that.

A good teacher will appreciate your past and get to know you, they will be interested in how you function and what you do. They will not copy paste their ideas of mastery over the top of you. They actively work against your negative feelings about yourself, they build your morale up, they make you aware of your strenghts and use that to build you up further. They will not focus on your weaknesses and make you feel bad for having them, in the process of building you up and actually liking you for what you bring to the lesson, you will feel secure and relax into their advice and teaching.

As you relax into the relationship with your teacher you will be able to make changes and improve upon your weaknesses, not by smashing them down and forgetting about them, but by first building you up to such a point where then you are able to reevaluate your situation with more insight, more confidence, no more traps before you. You relax because they have built you up and you feel good, you have tasted the fruits of their good teaching and it has opened your mind in a kind, constructive manner with no sense of destruction or feelings of incompetance.

Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/02/19 06:53 PM

Quote
They will not copy paste their ideas of mastery over the top of you.


What do you mean by this?
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/02/19 07:14 PM

My god, I guess I'm the worst teacher in the world.

I love smashing. Smash smash smash. You can't rebuild unless you smash.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/02/19 07:15 PM

A brilliant post!

Let me add this: a good teacher shows you a world of possibilities and lets you choose your own way.
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/02/19 07:50 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
...they make you aware of your strenghts [sic] and use that to build you up further. They will not focus on your weaknesses and make you feel bad for having them, in the process of building you up...


There has to be some focus on your weaknesses in order to build you up into a skilled player. If all you hear about are your strengths, that doesn't take you anywhere musically.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/02/19 08:00 PM

Originally Posted by Andamento
There has to be some focus on your weaknesses in order to build you up into a skilled player. If all you hear about are your strengths, that doesn't take you anywhere musically.

I agree with that.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/02/19 08:21 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
My god, I guess I'm the worst teacher in the world.

I love smashing. Smash smash smash. You can't rebuild unless you smash.

Can you explain, in the context of the original post, so that it doesn't come across as it does at present?
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/02/19 08:45 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
Can you explain, in the context of the original post, so that it doesn't come across as it does at present?

I'm not sure what you mean by "so that it doesn't come across as it does at present" since it may come across as anything to anybody.

If you have seen as many Transfer Wrecks as I have, you'll know that smashing is--90% of the time--the only way to combat ignorance and stupidity.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 04:51 AM

Originally Posted by Andamento
Quote
They will not copy paste their ideas of mastery over the top of you.


What do you mean by this?

Sometimes teachers can have an idea of mastery that a student should achieve and drill for extended periods of time until that student achieve it, the teacher neglects that the students capability perhaps cannot efficiently match that image of mastery. Most of the times these kind of improvements if forced encourage a "parroting" of ideas rather than an intrinsic undertsanding. The building up of the student to that ideal can be done while considering the students current capabilities and a step wise improvement over long term. Of course some issues can be solved quickly but to consider that all problems can be done like this can be quite limiting and demotivating to students who struggle who may feel a failure for not being able to jump through that hoop fast enough and thus avoiding this copy/paste action is encouraged.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
My god, I guess I'm the worst teacher in the world.
I love smashing. Smash smash smash. You can't rebuild unless you smash.

I guess some students are open to such demolition but it does help to consider how things were done in the past and build from this, afterall I feel that the student is an individual creative being not a robot to be programmed. I have had student who had many years lessons before they come to me wonder why they struggle with certain issues and if I judge that it is because the method they are using is very inefficient I cannot simply "pull the rug from under their feet" so to say, it needs to be done in a more sensitive manner often because demoralizing them with the fact they might have wasted years doing something inefficient just puts emotional obstacles in the way of future improvement. When we investigate their ability we consider the way in which they currently manage something and build from there rather than neglect their method and simply paste over new ideas. I find that improved ideas are often more deeply appreciated, acknowledged and trusted if they improve upon and compare with previous understandings.


Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
A brilliant post!

Let me add this: a good teacher shows you a world of possibilities and lets you choose your own way.

Very good Iaroslav I agree completely. There are so many pathways to take musically we should not strangle any sense of creativity and choice that students may have. Some students may not have any idea what direction to take and then it is our responsibility to build them up with experiences so they can start making creative choices and start to command their musical direction.

Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
...they make you aware of your strenghts [sic] and use that to build you up further. They will not focus on your weaknesses and make you feel bad for having them, in the process of building you up...


There has to be some focus on your weaknesses in order to build you up into a skilled player. If all you hear about are your strengths, that doesn't take you anywhere musically.

Yes I agree my point was the AND part. We do focus on their weaknesses but how do we do it in a kind compassionate way, a way in which makes the student not believe that all their efforts in the past have been wasted, a truly demoralizing realisation. I believe very strongly that doing things not totally correct is not a problem, there are many teachers who fear that bad habits are difficult to change I disagree with this irrational fear, from not doing something so good you can truly understand a better path when comparing the two, by doing this by building upon your past experiences you really do understand why it is better rather than simply copying ideas of mastery without comparisions, the lesson becomes much deeper appreciated and ingrained.


Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 05:30 AM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I guess some students are open to such demolition but it does help to consider how things were done in the past and build from this, afterall I feel that the student is an individual creative being not a robot to be programmed. I have had student who had many years lessons before they come to me wonder why they struggle with certain issues and if I judge that it is because the method they are using is very inefficient I cannot simply "pull the rug from under their feet" so to say, it needs to be done in a more sensitive manner often because demoralizing them with the fact they might have wasted years doing something inefficient just puts emotional obstacles in the way of future improvement. When we investigate their ability we consider the way in which they currently manage something and build from there rather than neglect their method and simply paste over new ideas. I find that improved ideas are often more deeply appreciated, acknowledged and trusted if they improve upon and compare with previous understandings.

If students have "emotional obstacles" and feel "demoralizing," then they need to seek out a shrink, not a piano teacher.

What does any of this have to do with programming a robot? That metaphor does not apply.
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 11:20 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by keystring
Can you explain, in the context of the original post, so that it doesn't come across as it does at present?

I'm not sure what you mean by "so that it doesn't come across as it does at present" since it may come across as anything to anybody.

If you have seen as many Transfer Wrecks as I have, you'll know that smashing is--90% of the time--the only way to combat ignorance and stupidity.

When you get a student who has self-taught or had bad teaching, they come to you thinking they can just keep progressing and building on their shaky foundation. The problem is that those bad habits need to be gone before real building can begin.

This can not only be a change in how they play, but their attitude and teachability, too. But you don't apply it automatically to everyone. I always try first to discuss with them what the problem is, and that they need to forget what they (think they) know anything about piano. Then we can build.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 11:27 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I guess some students are open to such demolition but it does help to consider how things were done in the past and build from this, afterall I feel that the student is an individual creative being not a robot to be programmed. I have had student who had many years lessons before they come to me wonder why they struggle with certain issues and if I judge that it is because the method they are using is very inefficient I cannot simply "pull the rug from under their feet" so to say, it needs to be done in a more sensitive manner often because demoralizing them with the fact they might have wasted years doing something inefficient just puts emotional obstacles in the way of future improvement. When we investigate their ability we consider the way in which they currently manage something and build from there rather than neglect their method and simply paste over new ideas. I find that improved ideas are often more deeply appreciated, acknowledged and trusted if they improve upon and compare with previous understandings.

If students have "emotional obstacles" and feel "demoralizing," then they need to seek out a shrink, not a piano teacher.

What does any of this have to do with programming a robot? That metaphor does not apply.

Well that is your position I am not here to change your mind over anything, perhaps you haven't noticed how the emotional state of a student effects their learning. I tried to elaborate as best to my ability as to what it meant to program a student with copy paste methodology, if you are caught up over the word "robot" then change it with something else which describes a situation where you ignore a students personal situation and merely copy paste ideas of mastery into them, instructions which to me look akin to programming a robot. If you can teach without worrying about the emotional states of your students congratulations start a thread which promotes this.
Posted By: pianist_lady

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 12:10 PM

The context of the original post is unclear to me. Is the OP a teacher? Or a student? What's the motivation behind the essay?
I haven't participated in the discussion so far, because I'm not sure what the issue is. Of course, treat your students like human beings-- that seems self-evident to me.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 12:12 PM

Originally Posted by pianist_lady
Is the OP a teacher? Or a student?

The OP declares themselves to be a concert pianist and piano teacher on their PW profile, so that starting point can just be assumed.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 01:24 PM

Originally Posted by pianist_lady
The context of the original post is unclear to me. Is the OP a teacher? Or a student? What's the motivation behind the essay?



the OP is a teacher whose posts seem to show an in depth knowledge of repertoire, among other things.

I do not generally engage in his threads because he never uses one word when ten will do, and I don't have the patience. But I do believe that he has considerable teaching history and is posting based on his experiences. .
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 01:25 PM

Originally Posted by pianist_lady
The context of the original post is unclear to me. Is the OP a teacher? Or a student? What's the motivation behind the essay?
I haven't participated in the discussion so far, because I'm not sure what the issue is. Of course, treat your students like human beings-- that seems self-evident to me.

Yes I posted here on the teacher board as a teacher of piano for over 25 years. I guess my opening post poses some question as to what it means to actually treat students as emtional beings, this has many answers and I hoped that my opening post provokes thought. A transfer student who has spent years and much money on lessons who you evaluate as having many bad issues will not benefit from you telling them they wasted their time with poor teaching, bad habits, poor technique etc etc, instead it is useful to take all their experience from their past which they have taken into their current capability and use that as a positive power for change, something we can use to recreate them and further their development, nothing is wasted.

How we can be sensitive to building up a student in many ways rather than focusing on critique and tearing down their past experiences, that the process of building up will cause significant changes without aggressive forcing of the issue. A large responsibility of the teacher is to help the student come to terms with their own capabilities and be comfortable with it, as teachers we should encourage them to reach for their personal stars but at the same time avoid them feeling a failure if they can only hit lower targets. With transfer students or self learning students we should avoid denegrating their past experiences if we evaluate them as ineffective, instead we should use those experiences to further encourage development of their their ability, we build them up to such a point that they can reevaluate their situation and compare it with their past without us doing it abruptly, telling them to forget and simply replace with what we demand of them. If we take time to investigate how they work and tinker with that we can make quite intrinsic changes in them rather than ignoring it all and merely training them to replace their ideas with your own.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 01:27 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by pianist_lady
The context of the original post is unclear to me. Is the OP a teacher? Or a student? What's the motivation behind the essay?



the OP is a teacher whose posts seem to show an in depth knowledge of repertoire, among other things.

I do not generally engage in his threads because he never uses one word when ten will do, and I don't have the patience. But I do believe that he has considerable teaching history and is posting based on his experiences. .

Thanks TimR, I appreciate your critique that I type a lot, that is just my style, I think and I type, probably should hire someone to edit my posts and make them shorter :P I do delete a lot of what I write when I self edit because I know I do ramble a bit, I try though, we are not all perfect eheh. I also realized that pianoworld doesn't allow editing posts after a certian time so I would indeed delete some superflous comments but no longer have the ability to do so -_-
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 02:30 PM

Not sure what this preachy thread is about, but I prefer smashing to building.

It’s much more fun, and why learn piano 🎹 if it isn’t fun?👿
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 02:52 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Not sure what this preachy thread is about, but I prefer smashing to building.

It’s much more fun, and why learn piano 🎹 if it isn’t fun?👿

Quote
"Can we make the bad man fly?"

- said by Robin Arryn in the show Game of Throne
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 03:17 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by pianist_lady
The context of the original post is unclear to me. Is the OP a teacher? Or a student? What's the motivation behind the essay?
I haven't participated in the discussion so far, because I'm not sure what the issue is. Of course, treat your students like human beings-- that seems self-evident to me.

Yes I posted here on the teacher board as a teacher of piano for over 25 years. I guess my opening post poses some question as to what it means to actually treat students as emtional beings, this has many answers and I hoped that my opening post provokes thought. A transfer student who has spent years and much money on lessons who you evaluate as having many bad issues will not benefit from you telling them they wasted their time with poor teaching, bad habits, poor technique etc etc, instead it is useful to take all their experience from their past which they have taken into their current capability and use that as a positive power for change, something we can use to recreate them and further their development, nothing is wasted.

How we can be sensitive to building up a student in many ways rather than focusing on critique and tearing down their past experiences, that the process of building up will cause significant changes without aggressive forcing of the issue. A large responsibility of the teacher is to help the student come to terms with their own capabilities and be comfortable with it, as teachers we should encourage them to reach for their personal stars but at the same time avoid them feeling a failure if they can only hit lower targets. With transfer students or self learning students we should avoid denegrating their past experiences if we evaluate them as ineffective, instead we should use those experiences to further encourage development of their their ability, we build them up to such a point that they can reevaluate their situation and compare it with their past without us doing it abruptly, telling them to forget and simply replace with what we demand of them. If we take time to investigate how they work and tinker with that we can make quite intrinsic changes in them rather than ignoring it all and merely training them to replace their ideas with your own.

So let's take a hypothetical scenario and apply this:

You have a transfer student who has had say 4 years of lessons from another teacher who taught them by rote. They do not know how to read any music, but they want to play classical and can play early advanced repertoire with poor technique and poor fingering, and zero interpretation (or you can tell it's whatever their teacher taught them to do).

Do you just continue to teach them by rote? Or do you have a talk with them explaining what the problem is, and that they need remedial work in order to be able to achieve their goals?

IMO, students are paying me for my expertise. If I don't give it to them, I'm not doing my job. If they don't like what I'm giving, then I'm not the right teacher for them and they should find one who is. I don't see this as robotic or copy/pasta, but it's my experience that students who can read music become better classical pianists because they can develop their own interpretation of the music rather than copying their teacher's or someone on Youtube.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 03:24 PM

LOL, nothing ever changes here.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 04:02 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Not sure what this preachy thread is about, but I prefer smashing to building.
It’s much more fun, and why learn piano 🎹 if it isn’t fun?👿

Perhaps the points of the opening post goes over your head or are of no interest to you, being "preachy" is not my intention one bit, I am sharing some knowledge that I find quite useful, I don't intend my posts to be ubiquitous in appeal in any case.



Originally Posted by Morodiene

You have a transfer student who has had say 4 years of lessons from another teacher who taught them by rote. They do not know how to read any music, but they want to play classical and can play early advanced repertoire with poor technique and poor fingering, and zero interpretation (or you can tell it's whatever their teacher taught them to do).

Do you just continue to teach them by rote? Or do you have a talk with them explaining what the problem is, and that they need remedial work in order to be able to achieve their goals?

You weigh the benefits they gained from learning by rote and all the skills they achieved from that study. You measure their memorisation capabilities and how they have visualized learning their music while learning by rote. You then connect these skills to whatever you feel needs developing eg: reading sheet music. Some students I have come across resist wanting to studying reading and in fact have no interest in doing so (even though I think it is a very important skill). Rote skills are not mutually exclusive to other skills that they can develop, at least I don't see a total separation and could easily bind it to new skills, building upon what they have without destroying it.

I will not force this upon them if it isn't what they want though I will surely make inroads into them accepting it as something they WANT to develop and with your example I would be encouraged to trick them into reading type skills connected to their rote learning, I already write a whole lot I don't want to explore examples or I will end up writing too much. Once you can make them want to develop it you can be more confident in their application and attitude towards practice outside of the lesson environment and I feel this is of critical importance. Many teacher throw their hands up and wonder why their students are not practicing, well if you give them work which they dont WANT but NEED you can often corner yourself into an unresolvable problem with them resisting practice.

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
LOL, nothing ever changes here.

That is some kind of "riddle post" that is beyond me since I don't hang around here as much as others to notice things that change or not lol.
Posted By: Dr. Rogers

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 04:48 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Perhaps the points of the opening post goes over your head or are of no interest to you, being "preachy" is not my intention one bit, I am sharing some knowledge that I find quite useful, I don't intend my posts to be ubiquitous in appeal in any case.


I also found it preachy - and inauthentic. Quite frankly, I was convinced you were another one of the trolls and quacks that occasionally bedevil this forum.
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 05:26 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder



Originally Posted by Morodiene

You have a transfer student who has had say 4 years of lessons from another teacher who taught them by rote. They do not know how to read any music, but they want to play classical and can play early advanced repertoire with poor technique and poor fingering, and zero interpretation (or you can tell it's whatever their teacher taught them to do).

Do you just continue to teach them by rote? Or do you have a talk with them explaining what the problem is, and that they need remedial work in order to be able to achieve their goals?

You weigh the benefits they gained from learning by rote and all the skills they achieved from that study. You measure their memorisation capabilities and how they have visualized learning their music while learning by rote. You then connect these skills to whatever you feel needs developing eg: reading sheet music. Some students I have come across resist wanting to studying reading and in fact have no interest in doing so (even though I think it is a very important skill). Rote skills are not mutually exclusive to other skills that they can develop, at least I don't see a total separation and could easily bind it to new skills, building upon what they have without destroying it.

I will not force this upon them if it isn't what they want though I will surely make inroads into them accepting it as something they WANT to develop and with your example I would be encouraged to trick them into reading type skills connected to their rote learning, I already write a whole lot I don't want to explore examples or I will end up writing too much. Once you can make them want to develop it you can be more confident in their application and attitude towards practice outside of the lesson environment and I feel this is of critical importance. Many teacher throw their hands up and wonder why their students are not practicing, well if you give them work which they dont WANT but NEED you can often corner yourself into an unresolvable problem with them resisting practice.



It's not an either/or thing, IMO. Your OP assumes that if a teacher tells a student something negative about what they previously learned that is hindering them from achieving their goals, that they are tearing down and that is automatically bad. But it's not so black and white as that. Are there abusive teachers? Yes. I don't think you'll find them wasting their precious time on a forum talking about teaching.

I had a student just like in the above scenario. I talked with him about the benefits of being able to read music, and he agreed. I gave him some easier classical pieces that he could learn by ear but use the score to assist him with practice techniques, fingering, and learning to read. He never practiced and ultimately quit piano, because in the end, he didn't want to do the work.

Ever since then, I tell students upfront what I want to do, and we go all the way back. They can learn La Campanella on synthesia if they want to on their own time, but in their lessons, we work on learning to read from the ground up. If they're not interested, then they don't need me. I try to give them supplemental music that they would enjoy playing to make it more tolerable, but in order for it to go as quickly as possible (and get it over with), they do need to focus. This latter approach has a far better track record than the former in my experience.

In the end, each teacher has to teach in a manner they feel is best.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 05:35 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Rote skills are not mutually exclusive to other skills that they can develop, at least I don't see a total separation and could easily bind it to new skills, building upon what they have without destroying it.

Wow, I don't know what to say.

If you see something wrong, you tell the student. It doesn't have to involve harsh language or destructive attitude. Why do you think it's important to keep something wrong and build around it? I have students that resist reading, too. When given a chance, kids tend to take the path of least resistance. I don't let these kids get away with it.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 07:31 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
My god, I guess I'm the worst teacher in the world.

I love smashing. Smash smash smash. You can't rebuild unless you smash.
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
If you have seen as many Transfer Wrecks as I have, you'll know that smashing is--90% of the time--the only way to combat ignorance and stupidity.

Interesting. I've read that in some elite British universities there is a pedagogical method in use that is based on humiliation. Every student there has a personal mentor - a professor, who has conversations with the student from time to time. During those conversations the main (unofficial) task of a professor is to show the student that he knows nothing and all what he thinks he knows is wrong, inaccurate or incomplete, and to humiliate the student to the point when his/her pride is deeply hurt, because hurt pride is considered there the best stimulus for learning.

Is that your method?
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 07:57 PM

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Is that your method?

No, but it does sound very interesting. Thanks for letting me know about it.
Posted By: outo

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 08:35 PM

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
My god, I guess I'm the worst teacher in the world.

I love smashing. Smash smash smash. You can't rebuild unless you smash.
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
If you have seen as many Transfer Wrecks as I have, you'll know that smashing is--90% of the time--the only way to combat ignorance and stupidity.

Interesting. I've read that in some elite British universities there is a pedagogical method in use that is based on humiliation. Every student there has a personal mentor - a professor, who has conversations with the student from time to time. During those conversations the main (unofficial) task of a professor is to show the student that he knows nothing and all what he thinks he knows is wrong, inaccurate or incomplete, and to humiliate the student to the point when his/her pride is deeply hurt, because hurt pride is considered there the best stimulus for learning.

That sort of method, if actually used, would only work on ambitious or overly diligent students...and if you use it on someone with a psychopatic personality, you might regret it later...
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 08:44 PM

Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
My god, I guess I'm the worst teacher in the world.

I love smashing. Smash smash smash. You can't rebuild unless you smash.
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
If you have seen as many Transfer Wrecks as I have, you'll know that smashing is--90% of the time--the only way to combat ignorance and stupidity.

Interesting. I've read that in some elite British universities there is a pedagogical method in use that is based on humiliation. Every student there has a personal mentor - a professor, who has conversations with the student from time to time. During those conversations the main (unofficial) task of a professor is to show the student that he knows nothing and all what he thinks he knows is wrong, inaccurate or incomplete, and to humiliate the student to the point when his/her pride is deeply hurt, because hurt pride is considered there the best stimulus for learning.

That sort of method, if actually used, would only work on ambitious or overly diligent students...and if you use it on someone with a psychopatic personality, you might regret it later...


I’ve always been a diligent student, and that includes learning piano as an adult. But if someone used the bullying method on me, I would curl up into a ball and take up basket weaving instead of music. It is hard enough as it adult I have confidence in something you’re trying to do without someone trying to tear you down
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/03/19 08:52 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
We do focus on their weaknesses but how do we do it in a kind compassionate way...


This much I agree with.

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I believe very strongly that doing things not totally correct is not a problem...


Totally disagree with this. Undoing bad habits is a difficult trial for all involved. Morale goes way down when trying to repair damage. That's not building up the student.

It's so much simpler to start with a firm foundation of good technique, strong reading skills, and much more. If a student hasn't received that, the old needs to be done away with first. No one can build a solid edifice on crumbling ruins.

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
How we can be sensitive to building up a student in many ways rather than focusing on critique and tearing down their past experiences, that the process of building up will cause significant changes without aggressive forcing of the issue.


Honest, straightforward, dispassionate critique and building up go hand in hand. Teachers' critiques further the students' understanding of not only the "what"s of playing, but also the "why"s.

And "tearing down their past experiences" isn't synonymous with tearing down students. There's nothing bad about working to eliminate any detrimental habits that came from students' past experiences.

I personally would consider it unethical for myself to keep taking a students' money without trying to effect positive change in the student's knowledge and skill. That comes through critique, encouragement, and a whole variety of ways.

You're advocating a student-led approach. I (and others here) see the value in a teacher-led approach. Teacher-led isn't a dirty word describing someone who destroys a student's morale or fails to consider who each unique student is and how best to work with each student. It's simply a means of using one's expertise to help guide students in a beneficial-for-them way.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 01:43 AM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Not sure what this preachy thread is about, but I prefer smashing to building.


And you teach transfer students, undoing heavy damage? Or you teach? Or what point are you making?
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 02:05 AM

Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers

I also found it preachy - and inauthentic. Quite frankly, I was convinced you were another one of the trolls and quacks that occasionally bedevil this forum.

I can understand your paranoia as we get the same on pianostreet. You are welcome to see my interactions on that website to see that I am not what you fear. Though I find it difficult to see how anything I wrote in the opening post is something that represents "trolls and quacks and preaching" since I am sincere in sharing knowledge of teaching. I guess people on the internet like to use forums as a debate (you are wrong, I am right!) and competition, I have no time to really engage in that, I just want to share and if people don't appreciate that, well I feel sorry.

Originally Posted by Morodiene

It's not an either/or thing, IMO. Your OP assumes that if a teacher tells a student something negative about what they previously learned that is hindering them from achieving their goals, that they are tearing down and that is automatically bad.

I am not saying this at all. You can use bad experiences as a lesson to build better ones but to merely forget about them is what I am on about. How can one appreciate a better way if they do not closely compare it to how they did it before? How people did things before also has good fruits as well that we can take from it, it is not simply all bad or all good, how do we extract the good from it all and go on from there, how do we extract the bad and demonstrate a better methodology, something that will encourage the student to reevaluate and trust the better way more readily since they can compare.

Originally Posted by Morodiene

... I tell students upfront what I want to do, and we go all the way back. They can learn La Campanella on synthesia if they want to on their own time, but in their lessons, we work on learning to read from the ground up. If they're not interested, then they don't need me.

And this is fine as well as a teacher you have the right to choose exactly how you want to teach. For me I feel that if a student is resistant to some skill which is very important (such as sight reading) I need to make inroads into making them WANT to do so. This is often a long term procedure and key to my idea of building up without breaking down. Not all teachers want to engage in this kind of teaching and much prefer a student who will do as they say straight away, of course that is an easier journey but for me personally I like the tough nuts to crack, that is not to say that all teachers should be like this. I have had students with deep problems and have found joy through piano, the world is not filled with highly functioning perfect students and I do like to work with difficult cases, this is of course the extreme cases but the concept of building up without breaking down also applies to the best of students too, to make them deeply connect with teachings they otherwise would merely follow out of respect of our expertise.


Originally Posted by Morodiene

In the end, each teacher has to teach in a manner they feel is best.

Precisely and I understand not all teachers who read my opening post will understand or agree that is totally not my aim as I have said already in previous posts here. I merely want to share my ideology, it is not a competition or a boasting, or a "preaching" as some people fear, I sincerely want to share my decades of experience with something I find is kind hearted and very valuable. I'm a tough sort with many more years experience interacting on the internet so don't mind people trying to discredit my work, those that find benefit far outweigh that sort of activity I am sure.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Rote skills are not mutually exclusive to other skills that they can develop, at least I don't see a total separation and could easily bind it to new skills, building upon what they have without destroying it.

If you see something wrong, you tell the student. It doesn't have to involve harsh language or destructive attitude. Why do you think it's important to keep something wrong and build around it? I have students that resist reading, too. When given a chance, kids tend to take the path of least resistance. I don't let these kids get away with it.

I haven't said anything about NOT telling a student is doing something wrong though learning by rote is not something that should be classified as wrong there are many skills that are developed through that. If we find something wrong there are kind ways about correcting it and smart ways of making them discover the correct answer themselves without us having to say "this is wrong, this is right" a self discovery makes the learning experience much more intrinsic and deep rooted. Yes kids can tend to try to get away with doing work but that doesn't mean we should force them into discipline, "sugar catches more flies than vinegar" and a child who trusts and enjoys you and doesn't see you as an authoritarian will appreciate and remember you for your lessons. Sure there is a fine line to not allow them to walk all over you and when I first taught piano I unknowingly let that happen!

Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
My god, I guess I'm the worst teacher in the world.

I love smashing. Smash smash smash. You can't rebuild unless you smash.
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
If you have seen as many Transfer Wrecks as I have, you'll know that smashing is--90% of the time--the only way to combat ignorance and stupidity.

Interesting. I've read that in some elite British universities there is a pedagogical method in use that is based on humiliation. Every student there has a personal mentor - a professor, who has conversations with the student from time to time. During those conversations the main (unofficial) task of a professor is to show the student that he knows nothing and all what he thinks he knows is wrong, inaccurate or incomplete, and to humiliate the student to the point when his/her pride is deeply hurt, because hurt pride is considered there the best stimulus for learning.

I know this is not directed at me but I had to comment. This account is quite horrific I think laroslav and I will have to look into that one! There are often only a small handful of teachers in our lifetime that we can say have deeply changed us for the better and made us look at life differently, none of them I think would fit this mould unless the student truly was a masochist!! I feel that my concept of tearing down is related to this kind of behavior but at many lesser extents, so this is quite an interesting account to me.

Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
My god, I guess I'm the worst teacher in the world.

I love smashing. Smash smash smash. You can't rebuild unless you smash.
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
If you have seen as many Transfer Wrecks as I have, you'll know that smashing is--90% of the time--the only way to combat ignorance and stupidity.

Interesting. I've read that in some elite British universities there is a pedagogical method in use that is based on humiliation. Every student there has a personal mentor - a professor, who has conversations with the student from time to time. During those conversations the main (unofficial) task of a professor is to show the student that he knows nothing and all what he thinks he knows is wrong, inaccurate or incomplete, and to humiliate the student to the point when his/her pride is deeply hurt, because hurt pride is considered there the best stimulus for learning.

That sort of method, if actually used, would only work on ambitious or overly diligent students...and if you use it on someone with a psychopatic personality, you might regret it later...


I've always been a diligent student, and that includes learning piano as an adult. But if someone used the bullying method on me, I would curl up into a ball and take up basket weaving instead of music. It is hard enough as it adult I have confidence in something you're trying to do without someone trying to tear you down

Curling up in a ball and taking up basket weaving lol, that made me laugh dog :P I wonder how many teachers though to a much lesser extent do such things in the way they transfer knowledge to their students. Sure teachers can be very confident in the values of what they are teaching their students but they sometimes can forget the way in which it is projected towards them. I always hated authoritative teachers who simply believed they knew what was best for me, I remember dearly those who wanted to get to know me and how I worked and then kindly directed me to better pastures at my level never with a sense of dragging me up but walking side by side with me on the journey.

Originally Posted by Andamento

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I believe very strongly that doing things not totally correct is not a problem...


Totally disagree with this. Undoing bad habits is a difficult trial for all involved. Morale goes way down when trying to repair damage. That's not building up the student.

Though I find that using bad habits and comparing them to a better way often allows the student a journey into self realization as to what actually is better. From doing things inefficiently we can understand a more efficient method more readily because we have something to compare with, though sure I see some teachers who do not appreciate this and want to avoid such thing, that is their style, I just feel that there is certainly something important to learn from the other way.

Simply being told the correct way from the start can lead to a parroting of ideas without intrinsic understanding. Sometimes naturally a students technique will be rough and unrefined and it takes time for it to move towards mastery and we go on that long term journey with them. Again here is where I am quite different to some teachers, I have seen some who take their students hands and aid them into the ideal movements, I am not critiquing this but I feel that a student doesn't naturally understand it if I have to take their hand and move it. I can only remember my own experiences in this as a young child student and that it wasn't effective for me. I can remember this kind of teaching also when I learned sports and as soon as the tutor moved me into correct movements my body didn't really understand it naturally. So I build them up over a long period and I see students who I have taught for many years naturally build their technique and can solve problems in the future themselves rather than a student who has to be told what needs to be done.

Originally Posted by Andamento

It's so much simpler to start with a firm foundation of good technique, strong reading skills, and much more. If a student hasn't received that, the old needs to be done away with first. No one can build a solid edifice on crumbling ruins.

Yes though I find that having good technique naturally, something that they do from within themselves is not as easy as it seems, students can be very clever and do movements that we want from t hem but do they really understand what they are doing? I had a transfer students over the years who played with all "floaty" type movements with their playing mechanism and even though it looked pretty and their forearms, wrists and hands looked flexible I asked them why they did such things, they said it was because that is how they were taught to play for their last teacher, I asked them to play how they naturally would play and almost all the times such movements vanished.

Of course we must act against very bad movement immediately, like resting their wrists on the piano while playing (but even things like this can take a little time for some!!) but many other finer issues take time and we can overwhelm a student with corrections if it is all expected to be done from the beginning. It should be considered that it may be more efficient to learn music from a rougher technique and build from there over time rather than spend a lot of time forming what is correct. The more music a student learns the more experience they have with practice method and the more content they have to develop their technique, some issues simply will not allow themselves to be forced correct in a short space of time with an intrinsic understanding and we should keep the lessons moving onwards as delving into technique can be quite tiresome for many students who just want to get on with creating music. But of course each teacher has the right to teach how they want, I just want to pose some ideas to consider.

If we only observe how some of the great pianists have played we see that their posture and fingerings often go against what we teach as the norm. One only has to look at Glen Gould to gasp in horror at his sitting posture, or Horowitz for his flattened fingerings. Sure they were examples of genius and some may fear allowing students to do such things would be detrimental but the students own two hands has a journey to go through I feel and I will not force them into what I believe is the best but rather what is the best for their long term development and what encourages an intrinsic realization.

Originally Posted by Andamento

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
How we can be sensitive to building up a student in many ways rather than focusing on critique and tearing down their past experiences, that the process of building up will cause significant changes without aggressive forcing of the issue.

Honest, straightforward, dispassionate critique and building up go hand in hand. Teachers' critiques further the students' understanding of not only the "what"s of playing, but also the "why"s.


Yes sure I agree I take it a step further in that I will not say something they did before is wrong because in the process of building them up teaching what is right will make them aware of that themselves. In fact I feel that telling them something is wrong, inefficient or ineffective takes away that realization for themselves and here lies my subtle difference with some teachers. I am well aware of what they are doing is not so good but I will build them up to a point where they can realize that for themselves and I find no need to simply direct them to my critique no matter how it is packaged.


Originally Posted by Andamento

And "tearing down their past experiences" isn't synonymous with tearing down students. There's nothing bad about working to eliminate any detrimental habits that came from students' past experiences.

I feel that there is however a connection as a students experiences is a part of them and I personally take care in making changes which allow a change in the students which doesn't involve me forgetting about their past experience and using that in some way. I just find some teachers will simply ignore what has happened in the past and start teaching a new where we should be aware of their all their past methods and go on the journey with their students as they realize improvements to them and comparisons which delete them on their own. Guiding them on this journey is of great interest to me and often merely requires me to instigate or merely be aware of when they juxtaposition my teaching to what they did before.

Originally Posted by Andamento

I personally would consider it unethical for myself to keep taking a students' money without trying to effect positive change in the student's knowledge and skill. That comes through critique, encouragement, and a whole variety of ways.

Of course I haven't written up a detailed description or posted videos of my lessons online for others to observe and I am sure then you would realize that critique, encouragement is a part of my lessons. Critique however is packaged in many different ways which encourage a student to come to a realization for themselves rather than me forcing the issue, though of course there are times where I will draw their attention to consider something much more closely if I feel they have missed the mark. For instance if we are drilling practice method there is one part where I encourage students to play a phrase 3 times without errors in a row and if they make the slightest mistake their count goes back to 0, this has many benefits one for instance is to not consider practice in terms of time but in terms of achievement, I wont go into detail but in situations like this I am quite strict and say obvious YES NO critique and point out anything that is not correct. But this situation is in a safe and manageable small case scenario, if it is about much larger issues such as technique this can be a much more complicated beast to contend with over long term and I will not force ideologies of perfection. So how we measure out or critique and expectations change depending on the situations we are dealing with.

Originally Posted by Andamento

You're advocating a student-led approach. I (and others here) see the value in a teacher-led approach. Teacher-led isn't a dirty word describing someone who destroys a student's morale or fails to consider who each unique student is and how best to work with each student. It's simply a means of using one's expertise to help guide students in a beneficial-for-them way.

I am not sure what it means by "student-led approach" because as a teacher I am leading my students all the time but at the same time ensuring they are doing it mostly on their own too. I will not take away their ability to experiment by forcing them into a situation which I think is right but at the same time I will not allow them to do things totally on their own accord. So I find it difficult to consider lessons in terms of who is leading because the teacher and student both command how a lesson is done, I feel bias to one or the other can lead to problems.

Posted By: bennevis

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 02:29 AM

.
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by bennevis
Not sure what this preachy thread is about, but I prefer smashing to building.


And you teach transfer students, undoing heavy damage? Or you teach? Or what point are you making?
Actually, I save lives and teach life skills.


Is that enough for you?👺

Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 02:40 AM

Originally Posted by bennevis
.
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by bennevis
Not sure what this preachy thread is about, but I prefer smashing to building.


And you teach transfer students, undoing heavy damage? Or you teach? Or what point are you making?
Actually, I save lives and teach life skills.


Is that enough for you?👺


If you teach a lot of students over many years you will eventually come across those who have had poor teaching in the past and who actually love the subject they studied but are quite sensitive and distraught over their past experiences. Some have given up study for many years because of the damage they have gone through and with only a speck of confidence seek lessons once more. Some might think these students need a psychologist or whatever but this is very short sighted and insensitive in my opinion. As a teacher I am in a "people job" and inherently I should be interested in people and their struggles of all types. Many teachers with years of experiences can attest that their job does indeed include many issues outside of just teaching their subject. If you connect with your student on a deeper level you become an ally to them and enjoy their journey through life on many levels which can be actually more rewarding than the subject itself. Compassion and sensitivity goes a long way, often we are told that only the strong and powerful do well but I much prefer to help those who are weak, building them up is of great reward.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 02:56 AM

There is a high risk of people talking past each other as soon as you try to draw on what you have gathered over years, and everyone else is doing the same thing; to be understood and to understand are both challenges. For example, I could easily read things into AZNpiano's "smash" that he is not intending.

The OP's original post on PS was actually preceded by a private conversation that we had about various matters. Topics included the "guru" type teacher who has One answer that solves everything - as something like that was going on - the hapless student buying into this whose makeup doesn't fit the solution risks getting blamed; poorly or under taught or mistaught students were in there - my old experiences. I'm imagining this had some influence on the stream-of-consciousness post that came later.

I, in turn, may be reading some things into the opening post from my own prejudices, but some things I see.

One thing I saw was the rigid teacher who has a routine way of doing things ... " unbending in the way they teach if you cannot follow their method "to the t" then you simply are not worthy of improving...." Of course this is also poor teaching, and this also goes with the One Answer type of thing where if it's not working, it's the student's fault instead of the approach being a wrong one. This happened to me and I was blamed.

Quote
This is the sign of the "good fruits" of a good teacher that they will build you up without dismantling your current abilities or make you feel a failure or that you have wasted your time in the past or that anything you learned in the past cannot help you in the future.

I think this was criticized. Here is what I learned as I dig myself out from my own mess: That while there are wrong things, there are also right things to build on - or some of what I did before had seeds of some right things, that can be nurtured and are helpful. And the very fact of struggling due to having learned a wrong thing can eventually lead to much greater insight, which the student who had smooth sailing may never get.

Imagine the alternative. Imagine a student who mislearned for umpteen years and now discovers this; may have suspected it i.e. why the struggles. Imagine thinking that all these years were wasted; you're further back than zero since remediation is a lot harder than learning properly in the first place - how discouraging that is. And is that not also wrong? If a student like that comes to your studio, is it really true that this student has nothing that is right, nothing that you can build on? No skill or knowledge whatsoever that you can use as a bridge?

Quote
A poor teacher will ignore your past and expect you to recreate yourself immediately and if you are unable you are left feeling a failure and it is all your fault.

I saw this in a very personal way - it may or may not be how LiW meant it. So imagine I come to a new teacher after x years of piano with poor teaching, supposedly "at grade 6", but I'm massively missing skills due to iffy teaching. The new teacher expects me to do gr. 6 pieces at a gr. 6 level - obviously these require using the skills that are supposed to be there. As a mistaught student I won't now that I'm missing things: I'll try and try and try, and fail and fail and fail. If "my past" (the missing skills) is "ignored" it will lead to this.

To me it's just logic to teach a student according to where the student is at, and find out where that is.

Quote
A good teacher will appreciate your past and get to know you, they will be interested in how you function and what you do. They will not copy paste their ideas of mastery over the top of you.

Ofc this is all shorthand. What does "ideas of mastery" mean, for example. But finding out how a student functions makes sense.

I don't know if this is the part that was seen as "student-led". And I don't know if I'm understanding the post as it was meant.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 02:59 AM

Originally Posted by bennevis
.Actually, I save lives and teach life skills.

Is that enough for you?

Not when you're being flippant at a piano teacher about piano teaching, with a one-liner saying you prefer to "smash" which is meaningless. When you teach life skills, do you prefer to "smash" (whatever that means)?
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 03:15 AM

On this:
Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder


I believe very strongly that doing things not totally correct is not a problem...


Totally disagree with this. Undoing bad habits is a difficult trial for all involved. Morale goes way down when trying to repair damage. That's not building up the student.

It's so much simpler to start with a firm foundation of good technique, strong reading skills, and much more. If a student hasn't received that, the old needs to be done away with first. No one can build a solid edifice on crumbling ruins.


If this involves a poorly taught/mistaught transfers student - which I thought it did.

Starting properly, I agree with.

But if it's a mess due to the past? I had to sort this out myself. I had been told that if you don't start right, then you are condemned to have those wrong things for the rest of your life. Well, in that I was already condemned. You also have the situation which is very common for adult students, I'm told, of getting tied in knots trying to do everything perfectly - that the nonchalant attitude of kids is much better. How perfect must perfect be? How right must right be? When I sorted this out for myself, I finally looked at the development of babies. The dancer was a toddler who staggered around and fell a lot. The orator once babbled. It seems that skills "come into focus" from an imperfection into something more perfect. What if that is the model?

Quote
If a student hasn't received that, the old needs to be done away with first. No one can build a solid edifice on crumbling ruins.

Can one do away with all of it at once? All of it? In practical terms, is that possible? Or do you do a triage, and chisel away at the most important things first?

Certainly we don't focus on what is wrong, but on the right thing we want instead. You cannot not think of a pink elephant, but you can decide to picture a yellow duck. But if it's been years of wrong things, I wonder whether everything can be fixed at once. You cannot pretend that the wrong habits and wrong knowledge, which are all intertwined and affecting each other, can be eradicated in the short run. It seems more a thing that is done in stages, deciding what to leave be and what to tackle. Dunno.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 03:48 AM

Originally Posted by keystring

The OP's original post on PS was actually preceded by a private conversation that we had about various matters. Topics included the "guru" type teacher who has One answer that solves everything - as something like that was going on - the hapless student buying into this whose makeup doesn't fit the solution risks getting blamed; poorly or under taught or mistaught students were in there - my old experiences. I'm imagining this had some influence on the stream-of-consciousness post that came later.

Hi Keypeg I assume as your name and writing style is akin to this user from pianostreet smile It does include these kind of teachers but all teachers really good and bad, we all need to learn to shape the way in which we interact with our students and I felt that the kind of considerations in the OP have some good points to mediate upon whether one agrees or not.

Originally Posted by keystring

Originally Posted by lostinidlewonder

This is the sign of the "good fruits" of a good teacher that they will build you up without dismantling your current abilities or make you feel a failure or that you have wasted your time in the past or that anything you learned in the past cannot help you in the future.

I think this was criticized. Here is what I learned as I dig myself out from my own mess: That while there are wrong things, there are also right things to build on - or some of what I did before had seeds of some right things, that can be nurtured and are helpful. And the very fact of struggling due to having learned a wrong thing can eventually lead to much greater insight, which the student who had smooth sailing may never get.

The last sentence of your response here is of key importance I feel and easily neglected and mistakenly interpreted as a waste of time. This is also where the fear that "bad habits are hard to break" ignored this action I feel. It is helpful to use poor experiences as a measuring stick for better ones to come, it invites it readily but often we need to build the student up to be able to get to that point also. Hamfistedly forcing a change I feel is not always the best solution.


Originally Posted by keystring

Imagine a student who mislearned for umpteen years and now discovers this; may have suspected it i.e. why the struggles. Imagine thinking that all these years were wasted; you're further back than zero since remediation is a lot harder than learning properly in the first place - how discouraging that is. And is that not also wrong? If a student like that comes to your studio, is it really true that this student has nothing that is right, nothing that you can build on? No skill or knowledge whatsoever that you can use as a bridge?
Quote

Surely doing something bad is better than doing nothing at all. Some teachers tend to ignore the students previous experiences and just build from wherever the students can manage in their own lesson regieme. This is of course fine but I feel that connecting the students past to their future with you in the lessons is quite valuable.

Originally Posted by keystring

[quote=lostinidlewonder]
A poor teacher will ignore your past and expect you to recreate yourself immediately and if you are unable you are left feeling a failure and it is all your fault.

I saw this in a very personal way - it may or may not be how LiW meant it. So imagine I come to a new teacher after x years of piano with poor teaching, supposedly "at grade 6", but I'm massively missing skills due to iffy teaching. The new teacher expects me to do gr. 6 pieces at a gr. 6 level - obviously these require using the skills that are supposed to be there. As a mistaught student I won't now that I'm missing things: I'll try and try and try, and fail and fail and fail. If "my past" (the missing skills) is "ignored" it will lead to this.

And even on smaller issues such as some teachers who arevery particular in how you move at the piano and if you do not conform to that ideology immediately and exactly you can be drilled incessantly until you do. To me this inhibits the flow of the lesson and the creativity. I am of the school that not everything needs to be done perfectly and in a way which I percieve would represent mastery, I encourage however a gradual change over time based on intrinsic undertsanding rather than mere clever parroting.

Originally Posted by keystring

[quote=lostinidlewonder]
A good teacher will appreciate your past and get to know you, they will be interested in how you function and what you do. They will not copy paste their ideas of mastery over the top of you.

Ofc this is all shorthand. What does "ideas of mastery" mean, for example. But finding out how a student functions makes sense.

I don't know if this is the part that was seen as "student-led". And I don't know if I'm understanding the post as it was meant.

This kind of mastery can relate to all sorts of issues, technical, musical, discipline etc. I purposefully have not given an indepth example because since this is on a teachers board I expect teachers can connect this to their own experience base. Copy/Paste action is almost like programming a student like a robot to conform to your ideologies of what needs to be done where I am encouraging a more subtle approach, to have a vision as to where you want your student to go but to do it in a manner which takes into account all their past experiences and their journey in comparing their past lesson to the present/future lessons with you.



Originally Posted by keystring

Certainly we don't focus on what is wrong, but on the right thing we want instead. You cannot not think of a pink elephant, but you can decide to picture a yellow duck. But if it's been years of wrong things, I wonder whether everything can be fixed at once. You cannot pretend that the wrong habits and wrong knowledge, which are all intertwined and affecting each other, can be eradicated in the short run. It seems more a thing that is done in stages, deciding what to leave be and what to tackle. Dunno.

The idea of "building up and never breaking down" can be misinterpreted to mean building up and improving all bad ideas but that is not what I mean. Of course there are ideas which at their foundation are ineffective and inefficient but they can be used to compare with a "better" way. As you said in your previous reply "... the very fact of struggling due to having learned a wrong thing can eventually lead to much greater insight, which the student who had smooth sailing may never get." which I think is very important. We do not break down the students previous way with direct critique instead we say things like, lets try it this way and then compare and analyse the difference, see what they feel, see how much better they do, this realisation is empowering. Simply forgetting the way they did it before and applying a new way without comparisons leaves that experience simply in the students own mind, as a teacher we can be a part of that. And not always will something "new and improved" be trusted and appreciated as teachers we have to often go through that journey with our students and not merely expect them to accept it and if they cannot they feel a failure.
Posted By: Fidel

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 04:15 AM

As a student who received the makeover treatment from a teacher let me say this...

My teacher wasn't trying to smash or destroy me. Matter of fact she simply analyzed the technique taught by my teacher of the previous 4 years and said I would go no further unless I replaced it with a better technique. Not repair, replace.

What ensued was 18 months of learning how to play again. I had to forget what I knew and replace it with something I didn't know.

I lost the ability to play piano. I couldn't play with the cognitive dissonance of the new technique. Repertoire I played in high school i could not attempt in college. I quit.

I didn't play for 37 years. Then I restarted. My body had no muscle memory. Therefore my high school technique was not interfering with my college teacher's instruction. It's 2 years later and I finally understand what my college teacher was trying to instill. In many ways she was a genius but she vastly over estimated my ability to learn.

Was it worth it? Yes, if I live long enough. After 2 years of restarting, I feel ready to begin again. However if I die or am disabled before I learn the repertoire, then I suppose I would have been better off never starting.

Moral of story: teachers can destroy students. And when they do, you have to move on. Period. The teacher can't teach and the student can't learn. Both need a better match.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 04:40 AM

Originally Posted by Fidel
As a student who received the makeover treatment from a teacher let me say this...

My teacher wasn't trying to smash or destroy me. Matter of fact she simply analyzed the technique taught by my teacher of the previous 4 years and said I would go no further unless I replaced it with a better technique. Not repair, replace.

What ensued was 18 months of learning how to play again. I had to forget what I knew and replace it with something I didn't know.

I lost the ability to play piano. I couldn't play with the cognitive dissonance of the new technique. Repertoire I played in high school i could not attempt in college. I quit.

I didn't play for 37 years. Then I restarted. My body had no muscle memory. Therefore my high school technique was not interfering with my college teacher's instruction. It's 2 years later and I finally understand what my college teacher was trying to instill. In many ways she was a genius but she vastly over estimated my ability to learn.

Was it worth it? Yes, if I live long enough. After 2 years of restarting, I feel ready to begin again. However if I die or am disabled before I learn the repertoire, then I suppose I would have been better off never starting.

Moral of story: teachers can destroy students. And when they do, you have to move on. Period. The teacher can't teach and the student can't learn. Both need a better match.


This account is not so uncommon but it also pains my heart to imagine lost potential and the lifetime relationship with music that might have been. It is so important that teachers read your story and think deeply how it effects how they may be dismantling a students own precious method that in many cases should be a part of their journey and not merely replaced. We can make changes over time build them up first and not destroy what they have, allow the students to make those realisations of change on their terms with us joining them in that journey. I’m glad you have managed to take up piano once more!
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 04:54 AM

.
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by bennevis
.Actually, I save lives and teach life skills.

Is that enough for you?

Not when you're being flippant at a piano teacher about piano teaching, with a one-liner saying you prefer to "smash" which is meaningless. When you teach life skills, do you prefer to "smash" (whatever that means)?
I respond to posters as I see fit.
If people say silly things, I respond in kind.

Do you think that all teachers should be kowtowed to, the way you do?
Posted By: outo

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 05:02 AM

Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
My god, I guess I'm the worst teacher in the world.

I love smashing. Smash smash smash. You can't rebuild unless you smash.
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
If you have seen as many Transfer Wrecks as I have, you'll know that smashing is--90% of the time--the only way to combat ignorance and stupidity.

Interesting. I've read that in some elite British universities there is a pedagogical method in use that is based on humiliation. Every student there has a personal mentor - a professor, who has conversations with the student from time to time. During those conversations the main (unofficial) task of a professor is to show the student that he knows nothing and all what he thinks he knows is wrong, inaccurate or incomplete, and to humiliate the student to the point when his/her pride is deeply hurt, because hurt pride is considered there the best stimulus for learning.

That sort of method, if actually used, would only work on ambitious or overly diligent students...and if you use it on someone with a psychopatic personality, you might regret it later...


I’ve always been a diligent student, and that includes learning piano as an adult. But if someone used the bullying method on me, I would curl up into a ball and take up basket weaving instead of music. It is hard enough as it adult I have confidence in something you’re trying to do without someone trying to tear you down

Or course I did not mean any type of diligent student. There are those who will always try to please and will just work harder no matter how much they are bullied. They might do well, but of course it comes with an expense...
Posted By: fatar760

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 11:14 AM

Empathy is a very important trait, especially when it comes to teaching.

I'd be concerned for a student working with a teacher who doesn't display empathy and I'd question the self-serving motives of that 'teacher'
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 04:27 PM

This thread began with a premise that uses the Always-Never construction.

That, by itself, is a problem. It states an absolute, which implies that anything that remotely contradicts it is wrong.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 05:08 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
This thread began with a premise that uses the Always-Never construction.

That, by itself, is a problem. It states an absolute, which implies that anything that remotely contradicts it is wrong.

I read the opening post multiple times, first when it was on PS, and then here - where I was too busy to respond. I read it another two times now. There is nothing "always-never" in there. Not the words "always" or "never", and not implied. However, one can easily read things into what people write. I could read into your "smash" that you are a horrible cruel teacher who is out to destroy students, and then based on my interpretation, I can tell everyone that that is what you do. It would be wrong.

There was indeed an "always-never" in this forum. That was the teacher who stated that everyone teaches that beats 1 and 3 are stressed in music, it is done everywhere, and he would guide us out of that. It was a narrow premise and assumption. An integral part of choosing when and where to stress notes is a) having control of timing as a student, being trained in hearing it, counting, etc., b) having the physical ability to produce the quality of sounds one wants to produce. When I pointed this out to that teacher, he said publicly he would "ignore" a student's statement of having physical difficulty. ...... Therefore he would teach only on the basis of the right sound, having a student try over, and over, and over, and over, and over, over, and over, and over, and over, and over, over, and over, and over, and over, and over, over, and over, and over, and over, and over ....... based on the single premise that if you listen long enough, repeat often enough, you'll produce the desired sound. The fact that the physical problems preventing that production, or lack of learning to count, (underlying skills) will be ignored on and on, because there is one single premise.

Now THIS example goes straight to what LostinIdleWonder was talking about ........ a teacher not taking into account where a student actually is. And this can and does happen!This would lead straight into that kind of situation where a student is asked to things according to a formula invented / believed in by the teacher, and if the student can't do it, it's because the student isn't trying hard enough, isn't listening properly ... anything except the fact that the teacher is not addressing where the student is at. THAT is "always-never". Countering is not.

People in forums do not take the time to find out what somebody means. They assume. They write clever one-liners. They ignore. It's really too bad.
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/04/19 09:02 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Sometimes teachers can have an idea of mastery that a student should achieve and drill for extended periods of time until that student achieve it, the teacher neglects that the students capability perhaps cannot efficiently match that image of mastery. Most of the times these kind of improvements if forced encourage a "parroting" of ideas rather than an intrinsic undertsanding. The building up of the student to that ideal can be done while considering the students current capabilities and a step wise improvement over long term. Of course some issues can be solved quickly but to consider that all problems can be done like this can be quite limiting and demotivating to students who struggle who may feel a failure for not being able to jump through that hoop fast enough and thus avoiding this copy/paste action is encouraged.


Thanks for your reply (answering my question about what you meant by your statement "They will not copy paste their ideas of mastery over the top of you.").

If I may respond sentence by sentence now to your reply above:

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Sometimes teachers can have an idea of mastery that a student should achieve and drill for extended periods of time until that student achieve it, the teacher neglects that the students capability perhaps cannot efficiently match that image of mastery.


A teacher needs to have goals in mind on how to bring students in general, or any student in particular, to mastery of various aspects of musicianship. Flexibility, though, is needed, and it's important that a teacher be willing to adjust goals and not drill indefinitely on something that clearly isn't working. A good teacher will be sensitive to timing and methodology that helps, rather than exasperates, a student.

Quote
Most of the times these kind of improvements if forced encourage a "parroting" of ideas rather than an intrinsic undertsanding.


This depends on the level of the student. I'll speak of children here: higher-level thinking skills come with developmental maturity. They need both a degree of developmental maturity and competent teaching to gain intrinsic understanding of the music they're interpreting.

Young students at the start of their music journey need a good teacher who can effectively demonstrate the musical principles that will serve students best. Parroting a competent teacher's model is not a bad thing! Parroting an incompetent teacher, OTOH, is a problem, but that's a discussion for another day. smile

But my point is that, until students are developmentally able to come to intrinsic understanding, and understand the "why"s behind different choices that can be made pianistically, a student needs guidance from a good teacher, and the willingness to follow that guidance.

Quote
The building up of the student to that ideal can be done while considering the students current capabilities and a step wise improvement over long term.


Absolutely.

Quote
Of course some issues can be solved quickly but to consider that all problems can be done like this can be quite limiting and demotivating to students who struggle who may feel a failure for not being able to jump through that hoop fast enough and thus avoiding this copy/paste action is encouraged.


The good teachers I know do not feel that "all problems can be [solved quickly]." Also, I don't see that "...this copy/paste action," if I'm understanding your definition of copy/paste correctly now, is something that needs to be avoided in the early-development pianist. An effective teacher's modeling solid technique and other habits is good for a student to emulate in the early years. That's a kind of parroting, if you will, that I can get behind.

Refinements and fine-tuning can occur over the years as a pianist develops his/her own style. No, we don't want an it's-my-way-or-the-highway approach to teaching students who have matured and are developing a personal style of their own based on sound musicianship. It's a process where more choice is introduced over the years, and students who have learned well the musical fundamentals taught by knowledgeable teachers can feel secure as they (the students) find new freedom of expression that was built on a strong foundation the excellent teacher laid and the diligent student applied.

Posted By: pianist_lady

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 01:04 AM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by pianist_lady
The context of the original post is unclear to me. Is the OP a teacher? Or a student? What's the motivation behind the essay?
I haven't participated in the discussion so far, because I'm not sure what the issue is. Of course, treat your students like human beings-- that seems self-evident to me.

Yes I posted here on the teacher board as a teacher of piano for over 25 years. I guess my opening post poses some question as to what it means to actually treat students as emtional beings, this has many answers and I hoped that my opening post provokes thought. A transfer student who has spent years and much money on lessons who you evaluate as having many bad issues will not benefit from you telling them they wasted their time with poor teaching, bad habits, poor technique etc etc, instead it is useful to take all their experience from their past which they have taken into their current capability and use that as a positive power for change, something we can use to recreate them and further their development, nothing is wasted.

How we can be sensitive to building up a student in many ways rather than focusing on critique and tearing down their past experiences, that the process of building up will cause significant changes without aggressive forcing of the issue. A large responsibility of the teacher is to help the student come to terms with their own capabilities and be comfortable with it, as teachers we should encourage them to reach for their personal stars but at the same time avoid them feeling a failure if they can only hit lower targets. With transfer students or self learning students we should avoid denegrating their past experiences if we evaluate them as ineffective, instead we should use those experiences to further encourage development of their their ability, we build them up to such a point that they can reevaluate their situation and compare it with their past without us doing it abruptly, telling them to forget and simply replace with what we demand of them. If we take time to investigate how they work and tinker with that we can make quite intrinsic changes in them rather than ignoring it all and merely training them to replace their ideas with your own.


Ok, thanks for the background. I wasn't sure if this was from the point of view of a teacher who had observed some poor teaching, or a student who felt they have been badly taught in the past.
I guess I agree with the others who posted that correcting a student doesn't have to mean tearing them down personally, and that sometimes you do have to remake a student who has been led down the wrong path. That doesn't mean you are imposing your will on a student or ignoring their emotions.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
This thread began with a premise that uses the Always-Never construction.

That, by itself, is a problem. It states an absolute, which implies that anything that remotely contradicts it is wrong.


I'm always a bit wary of posts that start with a kind of straw-man "bad teacher" or "bad student" that is discarded in favour of an ideal teaching method.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 01:58 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
This thread began with a premise that uses the Always-Never construction.

That, by itself, is a problem. It states an absolute, which implies that anything that remotely contradicts it is wrong.

Maybe you can elaborate where this occurs in the opening post because it seems you have just read the title only. Short responses without any quoting of passages which are of concern don't really make your position undertandable, I would like to know what you really think afterall that is why I posted so I can hear some peoples constructive opinions.

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
This thread began with a premise that uses the Always-Never construction.

That, by itself, is a problem. It states an absolute, which implies that anything that remotely contradicts it is wrong.

I read the opening post multiple times, first when it was on PS, and then here - where I was too busy to respond. I read it another two times now. There is nothing "always-never" in there. Not the words "always" or "never", are not implied.

I also don't feel I am saying these always and never also though in parts I feel I am pushing that there is a very high propensity to behave in one way and not the other because to me at least I feel they are appropriate attitudes a teacher should havest towards their students. That is afterall how people write their points isn't it? Why would someone write ambigiously so that there is no concrete opinion? Seems odd to me to walk on eggshells in this manner. Throughout my postings however I have said that teachers teach they way they want and I am only offering my insight, which I may add come from decades of teaching hundreds of private students one on one and a precious few which I have indeed taught personally for decades!

Originally Posted by keystring

Now THIS example goes straight to what LostinIdleWonder was talking about ........ a teacher not taking into account where a student actually is. And this can and does happen!This would lead straight into that kind of situation where a student is asked to things according to a formula invented / believed in by the teacher, and if the student can't do it, it's because the student isn't trying hard enough, isn't listening properly ... anything except the fact that the teacher is not addressing where the student is at. THAT is "always-never". Countering is not.

Right, some teachers merely teach very one dimensionally their stringent syllabus and only care where their student fits into that, sure beginner teachers might have no other method because they are testing out their methodology but all should consider a flexibility which incorporates each students personal journey in terms of physical playing development, discipline approach and creative desires.

Originally Posted by keystring

People in forums do not take the time to find out what somebody means. They assume. They write clever one-liners. They ignore. It's really too bad.

You get this everywhere on the internet there are a few who think that the internet is merely a platform to tell people that they are wrong. It is difficult for some people to think outside of their bubble and we should really help them feel comfortable to ask constructive questions though I don't really have the time to do this and just spend my time with those who actually ask questions and comment whether they agree with me or not. I like to share my ideas because I might help others who are on the same journey as myself. I also like to share my ideas to see what others think so I can get opinions and balance my own ideologies afterall that is a good use of these kind of forums rather than never learning anything at all!









Originally Posted by Andamento

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Sometimes teachers can have an idea of mastery that a student should achieve and drill for extended periods of time until that student achieve it, the teacher neglects that the students capability perhaps cannot efficiently match that image of mastery.


A teacher needs to have goals in mind on how to bring students in general, or any student in particular, to mastery of various aspects of musicianship. Flexibility, though, is needed, and it's important that a teacher be willing to adjust goals and not drill indefinitely on something that clearly isn't working. A good teacher will be sensitive to timing and methodology that helps, rather than exasperates, a student.

Exactly, I am aware though that some teachers really are stubborn and will drill incessantly. I just have to see what some poor transfer exam students are subjected to who come to me, some have been doing the same few pieces for over a year!! This situation is not so uncommon and I have seen so many examples of this happening, it is quite saddening since I can see how much the creativity of these students has been strangled so much so that they give up and accept that this must be the only way to develop the art of piano.


Originally Posted by Andamento

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Most of the times these kind of improvements if forced encourage a "parroting" of ideas rather than an intrinsic undertsanding.


This depends on the level of the student. I'll speak of children here: higher-level thinking skills come with developmental maturity. They need both a degree of developmental maturity and competent teaching to gain intrinsic understanding of the music they're interpreting.

I agree that they need all this as you say though I like to consider exactly how we allow them to gain this intrinsic understanding as there may be a danger in building them up without any intrinsic understanding we may go too far and they merely parrot without understanding of ability to apply ideas themselves without our guidance. My theory which I have used is to always walk along side them at their level without the temptation to drag them up, actions which may try to instill ideas that they are not ready to understand naturally but need to merely copy without understanding. This is ok though small spurts at a time but I then pave the way for them to apply it naturally rather than just doing as I say. This can be done by asking for feedback in many different ways and seeing them apply the ideas themselves. Each teacher should know how much they can give their students and not stretch too far that the intrinsic realisation because too far reaching.

Originally Posted by Andamento

Young students at the start of their music journey need a good teacher who can effectively demonstrate the musical principles that will serve students best. Parroting a competent teacher's model is not a bad thing!

Sure it is not bad but then they need to eventaully understand what they are doing and agree with it and find use for it. I gave an example earlier on of students who have transfered over to me who do all sorts of floaty type movements with their playing mechanisms, when I ask them why they do such things they almost always tell me it was because what their other teacher demanded, when I ask them to play as they normally prefer these movements vanish. This is only one example but there are many others that students may do just because they have been told to do so but can function perfectly fine without doing such things, this is what I am wary of because we don't want to form them into something they are not, that is the creative approach I really want to nurture.

Originally Posted by Andamento

But my point is that, until students are developmentally able to come to intrinsic understanding, and understand the "why"s behind different choices that can be made pianistically, a student needs guidance from a good teacher, and the willingness to follow that guidance.
[quote]
Yep I agree but the time which it takes to come to that intrinsic undertanding needs to be taken into account, sometimes teachers can just be happy that the student is copying their ideas and neglect whether this is naturally understood rather than cleverly parroted.

[quote=Andamento]
The good teachers I know do not feel that "all problems can be [solved quickly]."

Yes, though we have to be wary that they don't then drill something too long that isn't working and too far reaching to be naturally understood for that student, there is that catch 22.

Originally Posted by Andamento

Also, I don't see that "...this copy/paste action," if I'm understanding your definition of copy/paste correctly now, is something that needs to be avoided in the early-development pianist. An effective teacher's modeling solid technique and other habits is good for a student to emulate in the early years. That's a kind of parroting, if you will, that I can get behind.

Yeah they can parrot but they need to understand the why I feel even at a young age. Sometimes though things happen naturally for the youngsters and as experienced teachers we notice this because they can then apply the ideas without us prompting them, this often is good enough to prove they understand what we have given them. We should though if required get feedback from them to ensure they really do understand what we have asked of them.

Originally Posted by Andamento

Refinements and fine-tuning can occur over the years as a pianist develops his/her own style. No, we don't want an it's-my-way-or-the-highway approach to teaching students who have matured and are developing a personal style of their own based on sound musicianship. It's a process where more choice is introduced over the years, and students who have learned well the musical fundamentals taught by knowledgeable teachers can feel secure as they (the students) find new freedom of expression that was built on a strong foundation the excellent teacher laid and the diligent student applied.

Yep I agre with this. On a subtle point some youngsters I come across though have very poor technique and a high amount of resistance to naturally following a proper technique, sometimes we have to correct the most important issues in a fragmented manner because applying too much at once becomes confusing for them and not naturally understood, we correct the worst issues and build from there. Their technique may look pretty terrible but it gets better as time goes on slowly.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 02:10 PM

The title of the thread is:
Always build up, never break down.
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 02:27 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by Fidel
As a student who received the makeover treatment from a teacher let me say this...

My teacher wasn't trying to smash or destroy me. Matter of fact she simply analyzed the technique taught by my teacher of the previous 4 years and said I would go no further unless I replaced it with a better technique. Not repair, replace.

What ensued was 18 months of learning how to play again. I had to forget what I knew and replace it with something I didn't know.

I lost the ability to play piano. I couldn't play with the cognitive dissonance of the new technique. Repertoire I played in high school i could not attempt in college. I quit.

I didn't play for 37 years. Then I restarted. My body had no muscle memory. Therefore my high school technique was not interfering with my college teacher's instruction. It's 2 years later and I finally understand what my college teacher was trying to instill. In many ways she was a genius but she vastly over estimated my ability to learn.

Was it worth it? Yes, if I live long enough. After 2 years of restarting, I feel ready to begin again. However if I die or am disabled before I learn the repertoire, then I suppose I would have been better off never starting.

Moral of story: teachers can destroy students. And when they do, you have to move on. Period. The teacher can't teach and the student can't learn. Both need a better match.


This account is not so uncommon but it also pains my heart to imagine lost potential and the lifetime relationship with music that might have been. It is so important that teachers read your story and think deeply how it effects how they may be dismantling a students own precious method that in many cases should be a part of their journey and not merely replaced. We can make changes over time build them up first and not destroy what they have, allow the students to make those realisations of change on their terms with us joining them in that journey. I’m glad you have managed to take up piano once more!

I don't know why it would take 18 months - I wasn't there to be able to judge the teacher. But obviously, the student wasn't ready to change. The teacher should have seen that and backed off. But the change needed to happen, and the student did need to replace, from their own account. This is a drastic measure where you are dealing with someone who suffers from an injury of some kind. Otherwise, one could easily take a step back from more difficult rep temporarily (not for 18 months) to rework technique.

Often I don't think it's what is being said, but in the manner it is presented. I always say "give the student a little of what they need and a little of what they want." It helps soften the blow.

Just because you are trying the get them to replace what they're doing with something better, doesn't mean you hit them over the head with it.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 03:35 PM

LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. I'm thinking that first of all it is too broad, too ambitious, sort of like trying to tell a life story in one sentence. As you wrote, you are reacting to things you have seen and responding to them, but others have not seen what you have seen, and who knows what they are picturing. There is also a tendency for teachers to become defensive and feel under attack, maybe because teaching is such an elusive thing for knowing if one is in fact doing well.

Everything and anything you have written can be taken to mean different things, and can contain different associations for different people. Or it can come across as just meaningless wordy waffle. To a large extent this thread seems to have been a failure. What if you broke down your ideas into sub-ideas? Taken one idea, present it in a more concrete form with examples. Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 03:51 PM

Originally Posted by malkin
The title of the thread is:
Always build up, never break down.

Yes it is. How do you understand those words? Or - why are you mentioning it? (not rhetorical)
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 04:06 PM

Originally Posted by Morodiene
I don't know why it would take 18 months - I wasn't there to be able to judge the teacher. But obviously, the student wasn't ready to change. The teacher should have seen that and backed off. But the change needed to happen, and the student did need to replace, from their own account. This is a drastic measure where you are dealing with someone who suffers from an injury of some kind. Otherwise, one could easily take a step back from more difficult rep temporarily (not for 18 months) to rework technique.

It's hard to tell. And I would say that if you're a student, you won't know whether it's needed - even in retrospect - and then only if you have managed to get successful training or new feedback from a competent teacher (which you also won't be able to recognize until you've experienced it.)

This goes to something I responded to from the opening post: namely, if a transfer student was taught badly, are there also things this student does well that should be supported, used, and pointed out? If, as a teacher, you see "everything is wrong" with what the student has learned to do, do you fix "everything"? How do you do this, exactly? There are probably different philosophies.

Everything is intertwined. One idea coming from this is that you have to stop playing all repertoire, start at the very beginning, because as soon as you play any repertoire, the habits that went into playing it will also be there. What you do with your hands affect the shoulders affect breathing - so everything has to stop. Another idea is that fixing anything along the chain will affect everything else. If you fix your breathing, your hands might start working better. Another still is that if the whole body works together in the dysfunction, if you fix one thing, the rest of it won't work because you have a broken confused chain. (I've experienced this) .... or ... the rest of the chain wants to start fixing itself.

I'd think that remediation has to be thought through. A teacher who remediates --- especially that drastically ---- has to know what they are doing, or not start at all. It's like taking the motor and parts out of a car, and leaving the parts out, walking away.

What about timing? A student in the last years of high school, about to enter college, and it seems, planning to audition maybe, left with the motor out - no repertoire to play - because it has all been dismantled. How thought through was this?

Another thought still: Some teachers have very rigid ideas of how things are "supposed to" be, and if any student presents who has learned differently, then it all has to be changed to the "supposed to". But that might also be wrong. If you're a student, the moment you can have any kind of perspective on this is if and when your playing is on even keel and you finally know what you're doing. Otherwise a student is quite vulnerable and sort of a sitting duck. wink
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 06:33 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by malkin
The title of the thread is:
Always build up, never break down.

Yes it is. How do you understand those words? Or - why are you mentioning it? (not rhetorical)


Were there not comments about whether or not the words always & never occurred in the OP?

I mentioned it, because it seemed to me relevant that the words always and never appeared in the title of the thread, but you're right that there was no point in doing so. This thread has gone so far down the rabbit hole as to be interesting only for discourse analysis of communication failure.
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 06:45 PM

Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by malkin
The title of the thread is:
Always build up, never break down.

Yes it is. How do you understand those words? Or - why are you mentioning it? (not rhetorical)


Were there not comments about whether or not the words always & never occurred in the OP?

I mentioned it, because it seemed to me relevant that the words always and never appeared in the title of the thread, but you're right that there was no point in doing so. This thread has gone so far down the rabbit hole as to be interesting only for discourse analysis of communication failure.



The OP was wondering how they came across as preachy - and you are right, it's in the title. That sets the tone. The use of "always" and "never" tends to do that.
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 06:54 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. ... Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.


That's what most OPs do with their threads in the teachers forum -- come with a question or a few, and ask the advice of the teacher posters. OPs like this one, though, and some others, have been all statements and no questions. The message, whether deliberately or inadvertently, appears to be one of "Listen to me and the knowledge I'm imparting to you" rather than "I'd like to get advice from you. How would you handle _________ situation?"

All statements and no questions is another reason the OP comes across as preachy.
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 06:59 PM

Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. ... Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.


That's what most OPs do with their threads in the teachers forum -- come with a question or a few, and ask the advice of the teacher posters. OPs like this one, though, and some others, have been all statements and no questions. The message, whether deliberately or inadvertently, appears to be one of "Listen to me and the knowledge I'm imparting to you" rather than "I'd like to get advice from you. How would you handle _________ situation?"

All statements and no questions is another reason the OP comes across as preachy.


Or even engaging in discussion like, "How do you handle this situation? This is how I handle it and why. What do you think?" It invites the reader to participate, rather than automatically being on the defense if they do not do exactly as the OP says and thus are abusive teachers that don't care about their student's feelings.
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 07:13 PM

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. ... Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.


That's what most OPs do with their threads in the teachers forum -- come with a question or a few, and ask the advice of the teacher posters. OPs like this one, though, and some others, have been all statements and no questions. The message, whether deliberately or inadvertently, appears to be one of "Listen to me and the knowledge I'm imparting to you" rather than "I'd like to get advice from you. How would you handle _________ situation?"

All statements and no questions is another reason the OP comes across as preachy.


Or even engaging in discussion like, "How do you handle this situation? This is how I handle it and why. What do you think?" It invites the reader to participate, rather than automatically being on the defense if they do not do exactly as the OP says and thus are abusive teachers that don't care about their student's feelings.


Yes, exactly. I see it as the difference between seeking to understand and seeking to be understood. Your example, Morodiene, shows that both can be part of a good discussion. But when an OP only seeks to be understood, well, that's one-sided and rather off-putting from the get-go.
Posted By: pianist_lady

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 07:28 PM

Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. ... Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.


That's what most OPs do with their threads in the teachers forum -- come with a question or a few, and ask the advice of the teacher posters. OPs like this one, though, and some others, have been all statements and no questions. The message, whether deliberately or inadvertently, appears to be one of "Listen to me and the knowledge I'm imparting to you" rather than "I'd like to get advice from you. How would you handle _________ situation?"

All statements and no questions is another reason the OP comes across as preachy.


Or even engaging in discussion like, "How do you handle this situation? This is how I handle it and why. What do you think?" It invites the reader to participate, rather than automatically being on the defense if they do not do exactly as the OP says and thus are abusive teachers that don't care about their student's feelings.


Yes, exactly. I see it as the difference between seeking to understand and seeking to be understood. Your example, Morodiene, shows that both can be part of a good discussion. But when an OP only seeks to be understood, well, that's one-sided and rather off-putting from the get-go.


Completely agree.
Posted By: Fidel

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/05/19 10:06 PM

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Fidel
As a student who received the makeover treatment from a teacher let me say this...

My teacher wasn't trying to smash or destroy me. Matter of fact she simply analyzed the technique taught by my teacher of the previous 4 years and said I would go no further unless I replaced it with a better technique. Not repair, replace.

What ensued was 18 months of learning how to play again. I had to forget what I knew and replace it with something I didn't know.

...
I don't know why it would take 18 months - I wasn't there to be able to judge the teacher. But obviously, the student wasn't ready to change. The teacher should have seen that and backed off. But the change needed to happen, and the student did need to replace, from their own account. This is a drastic measure where you are dealing with someone who suffers from an injury of some kind. Otherwise, one could easily take a step back from more difficult rep temporarily (not for 18 months) to rework technique...

Yes 18months elapsed on the calendar which consisted of 12months of lessons plus 1 month of self study. I didn't have access to a piano when school was out so "only" 13months of hands-on piano time occurred. I can't say if that's too long to learn a new technique all I know is that's how long it took me and when time was up I decided to move on.

Funny that you should mention a drastic situation like an injury. Many professional pianists, I've heard number as high as 60%, do get injured. I was never injured, I mean I was a teen; I was strong, flexible, limber. My teacher specialized in rehabilitating injured pianists; it was a booming business. She taught me what she knew about avoiding injury. Along with new technique she was teaching me to be the same kind of specialist she was; I became intimately familiar with ligament, joint and muscle mechanics. When I quit work after 35 years in software development I had carpal tunnel in both wrists plus tendonitis in my right shoulder (mice, I hate them). I used what she taught me to heal my carpal tunnel and ease my tendonitis. Really, I would never question her knowledge about pedagogy only her ability to estimate how long it takes to rebuild a technique.

To me the question i still have is did she have to take me back to square 1 and start all over again? I mean my technique from high school wasn't bad even if it was limited. I had been taught a curvy finger, lift the fingers above the keys and plonk them down on the tip keeping everything else relatively static. It was extremely "finger-y." Ok, even I knew at the time that wasn't the best way to go about it. However to switch immediately to a flat finger, big muscle motions with fingers never losing contact with the keys, that was a stretch too far to assimilate quickly.

The only thing you get totally wrong is saying "the student wasn't ready to change." Nope not even close. I knew I had to change, more accurately to grow. I had been playing for 4 years when i entered the conservatory and I was 1000% aware that other pianists did things I could not. I was extremely eager to learn. I worked extremely hard to learn the new technique. But what I didn't understand at the time, muscle memory wasn't known to me back then, was when my teacher pulled out the strings of my first technique, the entire tapestry of my ability unraveled. I didn't know how to put it back together, until now. 39 years too late unfortunately.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 03:29 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. I'm thinking that first of all it is too broad, too ambitious, sort of like trying to tell a life story in one sentence. As you wrote, you are reacting to things you have seen and responding to them, but others have not seen what you have seen, and who knows what they are picturing. There is also a tendency for teachers to become defensive and feel under attack, maybe because teaching is such an elusive thing for knowing if one is in fact doing well.

Everything and anything you have written can be taken to mean different things, and can contain different associations for different people. Or it can come across as just meaningless wordy waffle. To a large extent this thread seems to have been a failure. What if you broke down your ideas into sub-ideas? Taken one idea, present it in a more concrete form with examples. Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.

Personally I am satisfied with the responses you are not always going to please everyone. The world is filled with differences and how I express my ideologies may not conform to what others would like to see but I see that it's ok, there have been some elaborations on issues which I found interesting. Those who think I am bring "preachy" can feel that way I really don't mind because they really haven't shown that that is my ultimate aim or what I am really doing it is just their opinion which they are free to have, personally I feel that this just gives them a way to evade proper discussion.

I don't see how the thread is a failure at all,. there has been many response which pose question and encouraged elaborations which further developed meanings of different things. I write a lot and some responses to me have also been lengthy so some people on the internet who only want to read a few sentences at a time will not read everything I wrote thus remain confused that is not my problem. This is also written in a TEACHERS FORUM so people can apply many of the commentary to their own experience base and come to conclusions, if people do not have such a base to attach to then there is of course a problem, it is not in my capabilities to build that part in them or interest to guide them in that process.



Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by malkin
The title of the thread is:
Always build up, never break down.

Yes it is. How do you understand those words? Or - why are you mentioning it? (not rhetorical)

Well the OP introduces generic ideas which encourages one to attach it to their own experience base then you may have to read the whole thread to come to those conclusions and then attach it to your own expereince base. The topic is so large I don't really know what exact situations I should bring out as there are a huge amount and you may notice that others have already chosen where to dig deeper and we have responded deeper which I found was a better format in terms of inviting others to control what was further investigated. Some people perhaps are not used to reading works of this style and prefer being given exact examples, theory is not written with multiple examples of 1+1= but rather offers generalised ideas which then one can apply to their own situations, if people need elaboration then the questions come forth which is what has happened throughout this thread.


Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by malkin
The title of the thread is:
Always build up, never break down.

Yes it is. How do you understand those words? Or - why are you mentioning it? (not rhetorical)

Were there not comments about whether or not the words always & never occurred in the OP?

I mentioned it, because it seemed to me relevant that the words always and never appeared in the title of the thread, but you're right that there was no point in doing so. This thread has gone so far down the rabbit hole as to be interesting only for discourse analysis of communication failure.

I can't help people who merely read the title and not the content of the work. Would you have prefered the title say " Sometimes build up and sometimes break down it depends on the situation" that to me provokes little thought. My theory is to aim to ALWAYS and NEVER of course if you live in a real world this cannot be done all the time but when you write theory you are writing within a vaccum of a perfect world, to me that seems obvious and once people can read the theory then apply it to their own situation they can see the subtle changes. I think it is quite short sighted to merely critique a title without quoting the body of everything else that was written to support ones concerns. Everyone will find their own personal interest, if this kind of thread makes one think the communication is a failure then that is their problem there are others and myself who have appreciated the ideas this thread has provided, it is only those who think they must CONTROL how things must be communicated and respond with short sentences without analysing anything at all shaking their fists in the process that tangent the discussion.

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by malkin
The title of the thread is:
Always build up, never break down.

Yes it is. How do you understand those words? Or - why are you mentioning it? (not rhetorical)


Were there not comments about whether or not the words always & never occurred in the OP?

I mentioned it, because it seemed to me relevant that the words always and never appeared in the title of the thread, but you're right that there was no point in doing so. This thread has gone so far down the rabbit hole as to be interesting only for discourse analysis of communication failure.



The OP was wondering how they came across as preachy - and you are right, it's in the title. That sets the tone. The use of "always" and "never" tends to do that.

Again I feel it is quite flippant to analyse a title so deeply without using the content of the work to support oneself. I actually don't care one iota if a small amount of vocal people think I am being preachy beacuse I certainly don't feel that I am since I have interacted with peoples questions without a sense of being an authoritive figure that knows it all. I guess it is quite easy to look at titles and come to conclusions, it certainly saves having to read the large amount of writing that has been done here already. I have appreciated the responses and questions others have provided which actually have taken control as to where to dig deeper with elaboration rather than those who would rather be spoonfed information.


Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. ... Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.


That's what most OPs do with their threads in the teachers forum -- come with a question or a few, and ask the advice of the teacher posters. OPs like this one, though, and some others, have been all statements and no questions. The message, whether deliberately or inadvertently, appears to be one of "Listen to me and the knowledge I'm imparting to you" rather than "I'd like to get advice from you. How would you handle _________ situation?"

All statements and no questions is another reason the OP comes across as preachy.


I am a teacher with decades experience I do not really have interest in simple questions or ideas that I want to share, I have posted on pianostreet for almost 15 years and done my fair share of simple questions and answers so please understand why I may ask questions in a different form. There is a whole amount of direct questions out there with direct answers I am offering a kind of questioning which is multifaceted and heavily relies on an experience base and this might make people feel a little uncomfortable if they do not have that experience base to attach them to. That is not my concern however because I wrote this in the teachers forum I expect that I there are teachers who are reading this who have a lot of experience with hundreds of students and have been teaching for many years. So there is no real need for me to always give simple questions which require direct answers, I offer a theory (which fwiw is not my own it was taught to me by a teacher of a different discipline outside of music) which is multidimensional and allow teachers to control their questioning or merely accept the theory and meditate upon it themselves. Of course there are students as well who can find value in this who have undergone many years of teaching with many different teachers. Again I really don't care if people think I am being "preachy" because I feel that they are missing the point of the thread, perhaps if those who think I am being preachy actually ask pertinent questions they might develop more constructive communication.

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. ... Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.


That's what most OPs do with their threads in the teachers forum -- come with a question or a few, and ask the advice of the teacher posters. OPs like this one, though, and some others, have been all statements and no questions. The message, whether deliberately or inadvertently, appears to be one of "Listen to me and the knowledge I'm imparting to you" rather than "I'd like to get advice from you. How would you handle _________ situation?"

All statements and no questions is another reason the OP comes across as preachy.


Or even engaging in discussion like, "How do you handle this situation? This is how I handle it and why. What do you think?" It invites the reader to participate, rather than automatically being on the defense if they do not do exactly as the OP says and thus are abusive teachers that don't care about their student's feelings.

I have communcated and engaged with several people on this thread elaborating on ideas that they have posted and discussed with them, I have not been on the "defense" as you say with those who have actually asked questions of me that relate to the thread, those of you who are limting the entire thread to mere "preachy" or upset that I am not asking questions in the way you are used to are just looking within your own little bubble and your own heads because if you actually took time to read my interactions with others on here you would see that we are actually elaborating on issues posed in the OP. The concept of the OP is multidimensional and includes a whole lot of different experiences it is inefficient to actually bring up exact situations, since I posted on a teachers thread I am encouraging others to apply this to their own experience base, I do not see it necessary to bring up exact situations in my opening post though you will see throughout the thread more concrete examples were explored.




Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, I've been pondering what has gone wrong with this thread. ... Maybe turn it more into a question so people won't feel lectured (in case they do)? Maybe that will work better here.


That's what most OPs do with their threads in the teachers forum -- come with a question or a few, and ask the advice of the teacher posters. OPs like this one, though, and some others, have been all statements and no questions. The message, whether deliberately or inadvertently, appears to be one of "Listen to me and the knowledge I'm imparting to you" rather than "I'd like to get advice from you. How would you handle _________ situation?"

All statements and no questions is another reason the OP comes across as preachy.


Or even engaging in discussion like, "How do you handle this situation? This is how I handle it and why. What do you think?" It invites the reader to participate, rather than automatically being on the defense if they do not do exactly as the OP says and thus are abusive teachers that don't care about their student's feelings.


Yes, exactly. I see it as the difference between seeking to understand and seeking to be understood. Your example, Morodiene, shows that both can be part of a good discussion. But when an OP only seeks to be understood, well, that's one-sided and rather off-putting from the get-go.

How I see it it is through the process of being understood that people will be able to connect with the ideas with their own experience base and thus provide feedback and further the discussion. The process of just trying to "understand" constantly occur when you read what other people experience, I don't see how I have ignored other peoples repsonses and merely gone off on my own ideas, there is ample evidence of me responding to exact situations and agreeing with people and further elaborating.


Posted By: Whizbang

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 03:31 AM

Originally Posted by Morodiene

Do you just continue to teach them by rote? Or do you have a talk with them explaining what the problem is, and that they need remedial work in order to be able to achieve their goals?


Seems like overall there is a bifurcation of responses to the powerful word "smash".
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 05:38 AM

LostInIdleWonder, I want to go back and respond to this you wrote earlier:

Quote
My theory which I have used is to always walk along side them at their level without the temptation to drag them up, actions which may try to instill ideas that they are not ready to understand naturally but need to merely copy without understanding.


Yes, we should "walk along side them" in the sense of not teaching way over their heads, but your use of the words "without the temptation to drag them up" sounds like you oppose encouraging than onward and upward in their skills. This is some of what I meant by my "student-led" vs. "teacher-led" comment before.

When, if at all, do you advocate getting out in front of the student and actually leading? Not from an unrealistically distant place, but from somewhere that says, so to speak, "OK, I see where you're at--now try this to come forward (or upward) a bit."

An approach like that isn't "drag[ging] them up." It's meant as an encouragement to advance, and isn't a forcible action at all.

If you're going to perpetually stay alongside a student, then why would that student even need a teacher?

I'm curious about what age groups you teach? I ask because the part of your statement where you say, "...actions which may try to instill ideas that they are not ready to understand naturally but need to merely copy without understanding" doesn't really work for very young beginners. They need a model to copy, and they're not going to understand at first why what they're learning is important.

And most five-year-olds (and plenty of kids older than that) aren't going to sit and patiently wait for the teacher's explanation of why they're doing what they're doing.

Understanding comes later, when they've acquired more context through experience.

I don't know your history of piano study and how your teachers operated, or what you've observed elsewhere, but you seem to be afraid of instilling ideas for which students might not be ready.

Be sensitive and observant, yes, but fear and trepidation isn't necessary, or even helpful, IMO.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 05:40 AM

Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by Morodiene

Do you just continue to teach them by rote? Or do you have a talk with them explaining what the problem is, and that they need remedial work in order to be able to achieve their goals?


Seems like overall there is a bifurcation of responses to the powerful word "smash".

I know right? And here I thought was smashing was a good thing. wink
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 06:16 AM

Originally Posted by Andamento
LostInIdleWonder, I want to go back and respond to this you wrote earlier:

Quote
My theory which I have used is to always walk along side them at their level without the temptation to drag them up, actions which may try to instill ideas that they are not ready to understand naturally but need to merely copy without understanding.


Yes, we should "walk along side them" in the sense of not teaching way over their heads, but your use of the words "without the temptation to drag them up" sounds like you oppose encouraging than onward and upward in their skills. This is some of what I meant by my "student-led" vs. "teacher-led" comment before.

Yeah this is the problem with language when we have international audiences it is difficult to understand exactly what is meant always on first attempt but its good to clarify because hopefully it makes things clearer.

"Walking along side" to me reprents going along on the journey with the student from their perspective. As a teacher we can try to see the problem that may face a student from their perspective rather than from a perspective we assume that they are at. If we neglect the students perspective we are much in danger of assuming too much and thus the action of "dragging them up" can occur. To me this kind of thing hasn't anything to do with student led or teacher led these ideologies are not a part of what I am trying to say, in a previous post I did mention that I believe that both of these actions need to occur at the same time, the teacher needs to lead but at the same time so does the student in terms of the teacher understanding how the student is personally processing the lesson. I posted a thread about four types of thinking which might be of relevance as to understanding how your student processes the information: https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=41550.0


Originally Posted by Andamento

When, if at all, do you advocate getting out in front of the student and actually leading? Not from an unrealistically distant place, but from somewhere that says, so to speak, "OK, I see where you're at--now try this to come forward (or upward) a bit."

So stretching and challenging your student should not be completely avoided. Not everything you give them has to be easy and quickly controlled but in general for the general student much of it should. It is more rewarding to do things right than to stuggle for most. We will notice that the more long term challenges we heap up upon our students shoulders the more this has a propensity to overwhelm them and a high propensity of us trying to drag them up. We all need to guage how much we actually can heap up on our students thus walking along side them and getting to know their thought processes and emotions while learning with us is important to help us identify that. Of course each student is different I am only talking in generalisations and what I commonly see.

Issues in technique for example some teachers feel like the students must confrom to some ideology of mastery as soon as possible and they will force their students hands into certain form and movements diregarding whether it feels natural to the student or not, and yes there are arguments for doing this but I feel that it should be done stepwise over long term and alongside the students understanding rather than just forcefully doing it becaue the teacher suggests it is the best way. The analogy of "floating" type playing, exaggerated elegant movements of the playing mechanisms which I mentioned before this thread was one example where I feel that a student can parrot ideas of mastery without really knowing them, to me a clear example of them simply jumping through hoops without intrinsic understanding, a dragging up without getting to know the students real opinion and ability to use it usefully for them.


Originally Posted by Andamento

An approach like that isn't "drag[ging] them up." It's meant as an encouragement to advance, and isn't a forcible action at all.

Then that is fine of course! It is the action of dragging up, they don't know why they are doing it, they are just doing it because the teacher says so, that leaves students bewildered and unable to apply knowledge. It suffocates their creative journey rather than opens new roads into discovery more often than not. Leading them to know how to fish rather than just giving the fish, that anaology works well, and if their fishing technique is rough we go on that journey with them to improve it until they get one themselves.

Originally Posted by Andamento

If you're going to perpetually stay alongside a student, then why would that student even need a teacher?

So the idea of saying alongside was highlighted in previous comment in this response, it means to get into the head of the student and look at the situation from their perspective their processing ability and current ability level. This of course takes time to get to know how a student functions, most of my studnets have studied with me for many years so I know deeply the way they look at things, I take their minds into considerations and build it up further, leading them where I feel appropriate, often that allows them to reevaluate their situation for themselves but of course we are always there helping them on the way to that realisation. Sometimes it is good also to lower your vibration down see the works at the students capability, this is a very clear action present when I have worked with low functioning autistic students in therapy music lessons but can be also seen in less severe cases.


Originally Posted by Andamento

I'm curious about what age groups you teach? I ask because the part of your statement where you say, "...actions which may try to instill ideas that they are not ready to understand naturally but need to merely copy without understanding" doesn't really work for very young beginners. They need a model to copy, and they're not going to understand at first why what they're learning is important.

I teach a broad range youngest 3-80+ and of all skill levels. I much prefer dealing with beginners because these are the more challenging students. I don't allow them to copy, they must learn on their own with my guidance, that to me produces more intrinsic understanding. Of course if there are terrible things they are doing you have to tell them to avoid that, there are of course actions which at their foundation are just useless but personally I don't see much of them, everything has some kind of good to it and I can build upon that. It is difficult to give case examples because writing it all in words is clumsy but indeed I don't feel that copying is the major way to learn, yes it does exist and can be useful but then I like to get feedback to see if they can apply it themselves predominantly without my assistance to other situations, if that is demonstrated thenthe copying is somewhat intrinsic.

Originally Posted by Andamento

And most five-year-olds (and plenty of kids older than that) aren't going to sit and patiently wait for the teacher's explanation of why they're doing what they're doing.

Exactly they just want to get on with creating music which is what I aim to do. From many examples their technique starts to form. You can poke and prod and issues through the many examples of music they learn with you. Some teachers however expect ideal perfection in the students playing in one piece before they move onto the next, this is where I am very different. My young students learn over 100 pieces a year and from that we build a large experience base and thus ability to solve a lot of issues many of which occur naturally over time and of course those that do not will then require our attention. THe problem is thinking everything requires our attention, building the experience base with many pieces can actually allow the student a lot of content to solve problems for themselves of course with some of our guidance spotted here and there.

Originally Posted by Andamento

Understanding comes later, when they've acquired more context through experience.

I agree and why I teach a lot of pieces to beginners and not get into the drugery of limiting that flow by expecting them to perfect.

Originally Posted by Andamento

I don't know your history of piano study and how your teachers operated, or what you've observed elsewhere, but you seem to be afraid of instilling ideas for which students might not be ready.

I am not sure how you can come to that conclusion but in any case my response here might change your mind.

Originally Posted by Andamento

Be sensitive and observant, yes, but fear and trepidation isn't necessary, or even helpful, IMO.

I agree.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 06:29 AM

Originally Posted by Whizbang
Seems like overall there is a bifurcation of responses to the powerful word "smash".

What bifurcation? I don't see any.

FWIW, I love the word "smash" when it is used to combat stupidity and idiocy. That word is smashing.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 06:38 AM

Originally Posted by malkin
communication failure.

This happens when people use 40 words when 7 will suffice, and then blame other people for not reading the 40 words.
Posted By: JazzyMac

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 07:50 AM

Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Perhaps the points of the opening post goes over your head or are of no interest to you, being "preachy" is not my intention one bit, I am sharing some knowledge that I find quite useful, I don't intend my posts to be ubiquitous in appeal in any case.


I also found it preachy - and inauthentic. Quite frankly, I was convinced you were another one of the trolls and quacks that occasionally bedevil this forum.


Such a rude comment. So-called teachers should know better.
Posted By: Dr. Rogers

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 11:51 AM

Originally Posted by JazzyMac

Such a rude comment. So-called teachers should know better.


Blocked.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 01:17 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
communication failure.

This happens when people use 40 words when 7 will suffice, and then blame other people for not reading the 40 words.


Yes, but. There is process, and there is content.

The content in LiW's words is there, obscured somewhat by his difficult communication style, which is why I haven't made this observation before.

There is also a large emotional tone component, and I think the reason for the weird scatter of responses and the confusion is that some people are focusing more on one or the other.

When I read LiW's opening sermon/monologue, I see the dictionary meaning of the words, but what I feel is a deeply personal impact to him, as if he were the one who's received some abusive instruction ala the Whiplash movie, and probably recently. Given what I know about his convoluted writing style, I have no idea how much was intended vs accidental, so I haven't responded much. I suspect some of the other posters here are reacting to it.

Or I could be totally wrong, it's happened before.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 01:18 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
communication failure.

This happens when people use 40 words when 7 will suffice, and then blame other people for not reading the 40 words.


Yes, but. There is process, and there is content.

The content in LiW's words is there, obscured somewhat by his difficult communication style, which is why I haven't made this observation before.

There is also a large emotional tone component, and I think the reason for the weird scatter of responses and the confusion is that some people are focusing more on one or the other.

When I read LiW's opening sermon/monologue, I see the dictionary meaning of the words, but what I feel is a deeply personal impact to him, as if he were the one who's received some abusive instruction ala the Whiplash movie, and probably recently. Given what I know about his convoluted writing style, I have no idea how much was intended vs accidental, so I haven't responded much. I suspect some of the other posters here are reacting to it.

Or I could be totally wrong, it's happened before.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 02:09 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
communication failure.

This happens when people use 40 words when 7 will suffice, and then blame other people for not reading the 40 words.

I'm not blaming anyone but if people are just going to read the title and make assumptions then that is being silly or if they don't want to read my post in full then that is up to them no one is forcing them to comment in this thread yet they feel they have to cry about length of posts for some obscure reason, because that is so important :P I honestly don't care if people who don't want to read much shake their fists at me that is their problem not mine. I wonder how many people here who complain about length of posts actually have read any books on piano literature which actually do write a huge amount more than me and often at greater lengths especially those older books from the early 20th century.


Originally Posted by JazzyMac
Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Perhaps the points of the opening post goes over your head or are of no interest to you, being "preachy" is not my intention one bit, I am sharing some knowledge that I find quite useful, I don't intend my posts to be ubiquitous in appeal in any case.


I also found it preachy - and inauthentic. Quite frankly, I was convinced you were another one of the trolls and quacks that occasionally bedevil this forum.


Such a rude comment. So-called teachers should know better.

The internet is full of those who merely want to criticise, it makes them feel better and keeps them in their safe space where they don't have to learn anything, I let them do that if it is what they need, I do feel sorry for those who need to do things like in really it effect on me is like water on a ducks back, I've been on the internet a long time and never bothered when strangers who have no meaning in my life spew forth unthoughtful criticism. Successful people will be interested to bring others success, people who are failures want to tear others down irrationally, that is the nature of the beast.


Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
communication failure.

This happens when people use 40 words when 7 will suffice, and then blame other people for not reading the 40 words.


Yes, but. There is process, and there is content.

The content in LiW's words is there, obscured somewhat by his difficult communication style, which is why I haven't made this observation before.

What do you mean by difficult communication style? The fact that I write multiple sentences? I would think that teachers of piano are quite accustomed to reading large amounts of verbage about piano issues, heck go have a look at books on piano and do a word count.

Originally Posted by TimR

There is also a large emotional tone component, and I think the reason for the weird scatter of responses and the confusion is that some people are focusing more on one or the other.

Emotional? Not from my side, I merely want to present and discuss ideas, why would I get emotional with people who i will never meet in my life and who are faceless strangers? Honestly if one gets emotional over these things they will not be interacting on the internet. Peoples negative or positive comentary to me actually do not effect me emotionally at all, my aim is to read others professional opinions and experiences, everything else is just background noise.

Originally Posted by TimR

When I read LiW's opening sermon/monologue, I see the dictionary meaning of the words, but what I feel is a deeply personal impact to him, as if he were the one who's received some abusive instruction ala the Whiplash movie, and probably recently. Given what I know about his convoluted writing style, I have no idea how much was intended vs accidental, so I haven't responded much. I suspect some of the other posters here are reacting to it.

I love your imagination TimR :P It is like posting on here is supposed to be like an episode of "Days of our Lives" ahha ^__^ I'm sorry there is no tone of voice when typing on the internet, I am sure some people have a strange voice when they read my words LOL! In any case, more people read and say nothing than who post, just look over 1000 views on this page and only a small handful of people are consistently responding. I am sure if every single person who read this posted their opinions we would get a broader perspecitve, it is just those who want to critique that are more vocal that is normal, that is the internet for you! :P

Originally Posted by TimR

Or I could be totally wrong, it's happened before.

I mean making guesses about somoene personally is going to trap you so it's no real surprise nor does it mean much if you are right or wrong, but yeah.. you are wrong. I don't make guesses at people none of my posts do such things, I just discuss the issues, I really don't care who the person is behind it all, the ideas are of value, people can make up all sorts of characters to interact on the internet. I have posted on the internet for almost 20 years about piano education and teaching, so this is no game for me nor an outlet for emotional venting.

I don't post much here so people don't really know me so I guess it is why people are making guesses about me, though I have posted a lot on pianostreet so one can always investigate me on there.

Posted By: Dr. Rogers

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 02:49 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

The internet is full of those who merely want to criticise, it makes them feel better and keeps them in their safe space where they don't have to learn anything, I let them do that if it is what they need, I do feel sorry for those who need to do things like in really it effect on me is like water on a ducks back, I've been on the internet a long time and never bothered when strangers who have no meaning in my life spew forth unthoughtful criticism. Successful people will be interested to bring others success, people who are failures want to tear others down irrationally, that is the nature of the beast.


Insult all you want. You're the one that came on a teacher's forum telling us what we should "always" and "never" do (your own words). At best, you're pulling our legs. At worst, you're trolling and using sock puppet accounts. Thankfully this forum has an "Ignore" feature, which I have already used this morning on some accounts that I suspect are sock puppets, and I shall use on the "Lostinidlewonder" username as well.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 03:01 PM

Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

The internet is full of those who merely want to criticise, it makes them feel better and keeps them in their safe space where they don't have to learn anything, I let them do that if it is what they need, I do feel sorry for those who need to do things like in really it effect on me is like water on a ducks back, I've been on the internet a long time and never bothered when strangers who have no meaning in my life spew forth unthoughtful criticism. Successful people will be interested to bring others success, people who are failures want to tear others down irrationally, that is the nature of the beast.


Insult all you want. You're the one that came on a teacher's forum telling us what we should "always" and "never" do (your own words). At best, you're pulling our legs. At worst, you're trolling and using sock puppet accounts. Thankfully this forum has an "Ignore" feature, which I have already used this morning on some accounts that I suspect are sock puppets, and I shall use on the "Lostinidlewonder" username as well.

How am I insulting anyone? Seems like the pot calling the kettle black with how you are repsonded to me in this post in all your posts here not that I really care or take it personally. You still insist on reading just the title and coming to conclusions, you can be like that that is up to you but it is very short sighted I am afraid.

You can check my name on pianostreet it has been active for some 15 years so your conspiracy theory just highlights paranoia. If you feel threatened by my posts you don't have to post on this thread, no one is forcing you lol. It must be something people do here to announce who they are blocking, are we supposed to care hmm I like this function quite a lot not that I will use it but some people who are overly sensitive can use it awesome ^__^

Posted By: JazzyMac

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 03:21 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

The internet is full of those who merely want to criticise, it makes them feel better and keeps them in their safe space where they don't have to learn anything, I let them do that if it is what they need, I do feel sorry for those who need to do things like in really it effect on me is like water on a ducks back, I've been on the internet a long time and never bothered when strangers who have no meaning in my life spew forth unthoughtful criticism. Successful people will be interested to bring others success, people who are failures want to tear others down irrationally, that is the nature of the beast.


Insult all you want. You're the one that came on a teacher's forum telling us what we should "always" and "never" do (your own words). At best, you're pulling our legs. At worst, you're trolling and using sock puppet accounts. Thankfully this forum has an "Ignore" feature, which I have already used this morning on some accounts that I suspect are sock puppets, and I shall use on the "Lostinidlewonder" username as well.

How am I insulting anyone? Seems like the pot calling the kettle black with how you are repsonded to me in this post in all your posts here not that I really care or take it personally. You still insist on reading just the title and coming to conclusions, you can be like that that is up to you but it is very short sighted I am afraid.

You can check my name on pianostreet it has been active for some 15 years so your conspiracy theory just highlights paranoia. If you feel threatened by my posts you don't have to post on this thread, no one is forcing you lol. It must be something people do here to announce who they are blocking, are we supposed to care hmm I like this function quite a lot not that I will use it but some people who are overly sensitive can use it awesome ^__^



Totally in agreement. There are better ways to say things. Dr. Rogers, you were new at one time as well, so chill.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 03:38 PM

I rest my case.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 03:50 PM

Originally Posted by JazzyMac
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

The internet is full of those who merely want to criticise, it makes them feel better and keeps them in their safe space where they don't have to learn anything, I let them do that if it is what they need, I do feel sorry for those who need to do things like in really it effect on me is like water on a ducks back, I've been on the internet a long time and never bothered when strangers who have no meaning in my life spew forth unthoughtful criticism. Successful people will be interested to bring others success, people who are failures want to tear others down irrationally, that is the nature of the beast.


Insult all you want. You're the one that came on a teacher's forum telling us what we should "always" and "never" do (your own words). At best, you're pulling our legs. At worst, you're trolling and using sock puppet accounts. Thankfully this forum has an "Ignore" feature, which I have already used this morning on some accounts that I suspect are sock puppets, and I shall use on the "Lostinidlewonder" username as well.

How am I insulting anyone? Seems like the pot calling the kettle black with how you are repsonded to me in this post in all your posts here not that I really care or take it personally. You still insist on reading just the title and coming to conclusions, you can be like that that is up to you but it is very short sighted I am afraid.

You can check my name on pianostreet it has been active for some 15 years so your conspiracy theory just highlights paranoia. If you feel threatened by my posts you don't have to post on this thread, no one is forcing you lol. It must be something people do here to announce who they are blocking, are we supposed to care hmm I like this function quite a lot not that I will use it but some people who are overly sensitive can use it awesome ^__^



Totally in agreement. There are better ways to say things. Dr. Rogers, you were new at one time as well, so chill.

Thanks JazzyMac I don't have much time to post about piano on many forums since I post about other subjects on other forums also, I spent the majority of my time at pianostreet but it has been very very quiet there recently so I've come to visit here more often maybe to the dread of some lol, but im harmless and try to offer a sharing of knowledge.


Originally Posted by TimR
I rest my case.

Ah a riddle post, I wonder what the solution is smile
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 04:39 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I wonder how many people here who complain about length of posts actually have read any books on piano literature which actually do write a huge amount more than me and often at greater lengths especially those older books from the early 20th century.

Stop wondering. And stop assuming people here are dumber than you.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 05:04 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
but what I feel is a deeply personal impact to him, as if he were the one who's received some abusive instruction ala the Whiplash movie, and probably recently.

I might have felt that, fleetingly, by word 21. But by word 98 all I can see is a tenuous attempt at Joycean verbiage.
Posted By: JazzyMac

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 05:17 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I wonder how many people here who complain about length of posts actually have read any books on piano literature which actually do write a huge amount more than me and often at greater lengths especially those older books from the early 20th century.

Stop wondering. And stop assuming people here are dumber than you.

*Smirk* Now THAT is definitely the pot calling the kettle black. j

So much funny-ness in this forum. I love it!
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 06:17 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I am sure some people have a strange voice when they read my words LOL!


You declared the above in one paragraph, and then, in the next paragraph, said this:

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I mean making guesses about somoene personally is going to trap you so it's no real surprise nor does it mean much if you are right or wrong, but yeah.. you are wrong. I don't make guesses at people none of my posts do such things, I just discuss the issues...


You just trapped yourself, saying you're "sure some people [read your words with] a strange voice..." and then in the next breath declaring that you don't make guesses about people.

There's oh so much more I could say on this thread, but enough from me. Time to pull out some pots and kettles and get some lunch going. laugh
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 07:19 PM

I'd be interested in reading ideas about teaching or learning. any ideas. Anything other than speculations about who somebody is and the like. In that flood of "stuff" surely there is something that someone can take off on, and put into some kind of direction.

In this thread there is a student whose entire playing was dismantled completely, who could then not apply to college, and who spend several decades not playing. Are there no thoughts about this? Should "defective" (real or imagined) playing be dismantled like that? Are there alternatives? Have people experienced variations and choices in this? I think we had one teacher respond to that one.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 07:33 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
I'd be interested in reading ideas about teaching or learning. any ideas. Anything other than speculations about who somebody is and the like. In that flood of "stuff" surely there is something that someone can take off on, and put into some kind of direction.

In this thread there is a student whose entire playing was dismantled completely, who could then not apply to college, and who spend several decades not playing. Are there no thoughts about this? Should "defective" (real or imagined) playing be dismantled like that? Are there alternatives? Have people experienced variations and choices in this? I think we had one teacher respond to that one.

I think that would make a nice new thread.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 10:16 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano

I think that would make a nice new thread.



Any new thread would be better than this mess.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 10:30 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
In this thread there is a student whose entire playing was dismantled completely, who could then not apply to college, and who spend several decades not playing. Are there no thoughts about this? Should "defective" (real or imagined) playing be dismantled like that? Are there alternatives? Have people experienced variations and choices in this?

This is not a piano example, but this tale reminds me of the story of Tiger Woods, formerly professional golf's number 1 men's player, and Hank Haney, the swing coach who set out to completely revamp Tiger's golf swing. Haney employed an approach which bore greater similarity to "smashing" than "tweaking." Not going to attribute causality, but after this period when Tiger's golf swing was re-engineered, Tiger did not win another Major until last month - 9 years later.

Again, might be no causality, but it's also possible that sometimes, it might not be so good to "smash" - at least in professional golf - and better to leave well enough, alone.
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/06/19 10:47 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
I'd be interested in reading ideas about teaching or learning. any ideas. Anything other than speculations about who somebody is and the like. In that flood of "stuff" surely there is something that someone can take off on, and put into some kind of direction.

In this thread there is a student whose entire playing was dismantled completely, who could then not apply to college, and who spend several decades not playing. Are there no thoughts about this? Should "defective" (real or imagined) playing be dismantled like that? Are there alternatives? Have people experienced variations and choices in this? I think we had one teacher respond to that one.

I'd give thoughts if I could wade my way through all the comments NOT related to this. I just got on and saw this mess. I'd love to take some time and respond to his response to what I said, but I'm not sure this thread is recoverable.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 03:45 AM

Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I am sure some people have a strange voice when they read my words LOL!


You declared the above in one paragraph, and then, in the next paragraph, said this:

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I mean making guesses about somoene personally is going to trap you so it's no real surprise nor does it mean much if you are right or wrong, but yeah.. you are wrong. I don't make guesses at people none of my posts do such things, I just discuss the issues...


You just trapped yourself, saying you're "sure some people [read your words with] a strange voice..." and then in the next breath declaring that you don't make guesses about people.

There's oh so much more I could say on this thread, but enough from me. Time to pull out some pots and kettles and get some lunch going. laugh

Im sorry Andamento you failed to read that he was actually making guesses about me so I was responding, or am I not allowed to say someone has the wrong opinion about me? That seems very illogical. I guess that is what you get when you are merely in a critical mode, you sometimes read small parts without reading the context.

Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 03:46 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
I'd be interested in reading ideas about teaching or learning. any ideas. Anything other than speculations about who somebody is and the like. In that flood of "stuff" surely there is something that someone can take off on, and put into some kind of direction.

In this thread there is a student whose entire playing was dismantled completely, who could then not apply to college, and who spend several decades not playing. Are there no thoughts about this? Should "defective" (real or imagined) playing be dismantled like that? Are there alternatives? Have people experienced variations and choices in this? I think we had one teacher respond to that one.

I responded to that post, I guess the other "teachers" didn't want to offer their opinions.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 03:50 AM

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by keystring
I'd be interested in reading ideas about teaching or learning. any ideas. Anything other than speculations about who somebody is and the like. In that flood of "stuff" surely there is something that someone can take off on, and put into some kind of direction.

In this thread there is a student whose entire playing was dismantled completely, who could then not apply to college, and who spend several decades not playing. Are there no thoughts about this? Should "defective" (real or imagined) playing be dismantled like that? Are there alternatives? Have people experienced variations and choices in this? I think we had one teacher respond to that one.

I'd give thoughts if I could wade my way through all the comments NOT related to this. I just got on and saw this mess. I'd love to take some time and respond to his response to what I said, but I'm not sure this thread is recoverable.

It seem to me that some of you are suprised that the internet can cause chaos of reponses, can we really moderate people who come onto this thread and tangent it all with their one liners and commentary that doesn't dig deeper at any constructive questioning? The mess is not of my own creation it is the other members here so it is this forum which has people attempting to create a mess I guess I am happy to respond constructively to any question about what I have written and have done so every time at the same time I will call people up on their fear mongering and irrational ideologies about what I have written which seems to provoke people more to respond rather than something more intellectual which is understandable I guess lol.

Personally I am able to read everything on here and use my filter in my head to grasp hold of actual questions that are relevant to the thread. Some people have asked questions and there have been responses, people cry about walls of text but good grief I would think that many of us are academics who are used to reading a lot, apparently not so for some.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 04:01 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I wonder how many people here who complain about length of posts actually have read any books on piano literature which actually do write a huge amount more than me and often at greater lengths especially those older books from the early 20th century.

Stop wondering. And stop assuming people here are dumber than you.

AZNpiano that logic is killing kittens. How do you get that I assume people are dumber than me lol good grief. It seems logical that if people read a lot of books that what I write here is not long at all (certianly not at a length that requires numerous post about the length of my writing lol, as if that critique means much), though it seems that a minority of people merely want one liners, two sentences, oh no three sentences you pushing it buddy! lol
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 04:05 AM

Originally Posted by JazzyMac
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I wonder how many people here who complain about length of posts actually have read any books on piano literature which actually do write a huge amount more than me and often at greater lengths especially those older books from the early 20th century.

Stop wondering. And stop assuming people here are dumber than you.

*Smirk* Now THAT is definitely the pot calling the kettle black. j

So much funny-ness in this forum. I love it!

Yeah Jazzy, I mean that's the internet for you :P I find it funny also!
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 04:22 AM

]
Originally Posted by Fidel

To me the question i still have is did she have to take me back to square 1 and start all over again? I mean my technique from high school wasn't bad even if it was limited. I had been taught a curvy finger, lift the fingers above the keys and plonk them down on the tip keeping everything else relatively static. It was extremely "finger-y." Ok, even I knew at the time that wasn't the best way to go about it. However to switch immediately to a flat finger, big muscle motions with fingers never losing contact with the keys, that was a stretch too far to assimilate quickly.

.... totally wrong is saying "the student wasn't ready to change." Nope not even close. I knew I had to change, more accurately to grow. I had been playing for 4 years when i entered the conservatory and I was 1000% aware that other pianists did things I could not. I was extremely eager to learn. I worked extremely hard to learn the new technique. But what I didn't understand at the time, muscle memory wasn't known to me back then, was when my teacher pulled out the strings of my first technique, the entire tapestry of my ability unraveled. I didn't know how to put it back together, until now. 39 years too late unfortunately.

I responded to your initial comment on this thread where I expressed great sadness that you had to go through this experience and be without a relationship with music for almost 4 decades. To me this is such a tragedy and if only the teacher built you up before trying to destroy what you already had (even if what they wanted to replace you with in you was superior) perhaps things would have been different, there must be a timeline for such changes to occur and it almost always cannot be abrupt especially if the tools trying to be changed have actually served the students well for a length of time. Sometimes studying at a conservatory is not the best place because there are time limitations to development, I feel that many education systems stifle creativity and individuality and I am not alone thinking this. They churn out only those students who can jump through certain hoops at a certain time and others who cannot do so who otherwise would be brilliant musicians suffer.

It is so important for teachers to spend time to get into their students minds and understand exactly how they work, only then will they realize that some issues should not be removed and instead should be nurtured further and experience built up to a point where they can then make changes themselves and not feel overwhelmed and lost. Yes some students can make fast changes and there are issues which can be somewhat rapidly but there are a lot of foundations which really do not need to be removed and instead any new foundation can be created along side it, connecting to it, enhancing it even if it is of a different character, "together but different". With the arts there is no one right way of doing things but some teachers can get so caught up over a singular method which works for them that they believe it must apply to all in an unchanged package which I think is a shame.

I have had students who learn music in all sorts of ways, some would listen to a recording over and over again and learn the piece by ear, more recently one has been using those synesthesia piano videos to learn pieces (and quite tough pieces I might add). These kind of students often have a lot of issues with their fingering and of course when you deal with students who use sheet music it is easy to present the fingering ideas but with these other ones where the sheet music is somewhat absent you need to formulate a method to deal with this, and it certainly doesn't mean stop them at every single moment to change every fingering you are disagreeing with.

For me as someone who first learned music by ear for many years from the age of 3 then moved into sight reading just before my teens I personally have two ways in which I can learn music at a strong rate and I cannot say which one is better than the other they are both very useful. We need to develop students who connect to music "in their own way" first and foremost this process of building them up with what is familiar to them and what naturally works in them is such an important point to nurture. Of course next to this we can include new skills and ideas but never so much so that it strangles their natural capabilities. I feel that some teachers can neglect this and thus make students feel that their ability to play the piano even if it has been succesful actually has something wrong with it or should indeed be totally replaced. That is a tragic mistake I feel.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 06:25 AM

Some interesting extracts from this article: How the Brain Learns New Skills NEUROSCIENCE NEWS MAY 2, 2019

"The human brain is “plastic”: it can adapt and rewire itself, often more easily when learning new things related to familiar skills. For example, it is probably easier for a professional tennis player to learn to play badminton than soccer."

"Then, the researchers altered the mapping between neural activity and the cursor’s movement—for example, if the participant thought about moving her wrist down, the cursor would go up. For some new mappings, the participant was able to adjust to the perturbation. In these cases, the researchers wanted to know how the adjustment happened. Did the individual neurons controlling the BMI learn to change their tuning for up and down? Or did the participant learn to think about moving up when instructed to move down?"

"The researchers found that the participant was sometimes able to adapt to perturbations in the cursor’s movement by altering her cognitive strategy. For example, she would say that she re-aimed the cursor movement in her mind to perform the task. However, the participant was not always able to solve the mapping perturbation by adopting a new cognitive strategy, and in those cases, the researchers found, her brain did not generate totally new patterns of neuronal activity. In other words, her adaptability—specifically, her ability to re-aim the cursor to certain locations in space—was constrained by the tuning of the particular set of neurons being recorded from. This suggests that the extent to which a person can learn a new skill is constrained by pre-existing neural wiring."

https://neurosciencenews.com/skill-learning-brain-13013
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 07:18 AM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I responded to that post, I guess the other "teachers" didn't want to offer their opinions.

Morodiene, who is a teacher, not a "teacher", gave a good and well thought out response. I have always found her responses to be well thought through, knowledgeable, and useful (useable).
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 11:49 AM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

AZNpiano that logic is killing kittens. How do you get that I assume people are dumber than me lol good grief.


Well, do we have any evidence that when people disagree with you, or offer a different viewpoint, you give some consideration to the idea they might be right? Think before you answer. You may have a pattern you are unaware of.

Quote
It seems logical that if people read a lot of books that what I write here is not long at all


Even a casual read of the Piano Teachers Forum would indicate your posts are of extreme length compared to the average. So there is an existing accepted culture that you are violating. There is also your casual approach to sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation, which makes long posts even harder to read and parse. You will notice that keystring writes longer posts than most, but despite not being a native English speaker her posts are well constructed and readable, and therefore people respond to them.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 01:19 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

AZNpiano that logic is killing kittens. How do you get that I assume people are dumber than me lol good grief.


Well, do we have any evidence that when people disagree with you, or offer a different viewpoint, you give some consideration to the idea they might be right? Think before you answer. You may have a pattern you are unaware of.

Lol listen to yourself! Evidence lol. You are welcome to look through my 15 years of interaction on pianostreet to look for that. Who makes it a habit to memorise such things just incase some random person wants to know for some obscure reason? Hilarious really, now back to relevant posting on threads please.


Originally Posted by TimR

Quote
It seems logical that if people read a lot of books that what I write here is not long at all


Even a casual read of the Piano Teachers Forum would indicate your posts are of extreme length compared to the average. So there is an existing accepted culture that you are violating. There is also your casual approach to sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation, which makes long posts even harder to read and parse. You will notice that keystring writes longer posts than most, but despite not being a native English speaker her posts are well constructed and readable, and therefore people respond to them.

Violating culture now too! Well I’m sure pianoworld can be glad they have a defender of culture in you. I will continue to post how I feel comfortable thank you 😊
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 01:36 PM

Accepted culture on this forum? Absolutely not! Responses range from one sentence or brief phrase to long paragraphs of a reply. Threads often ramble into off-topic conversations, some totally unrelated to the OP. . All have been tolerated.

There is not a PW thread culture and no poster has been called out for violating the assumption.
Posted By: pianist_lady

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 01:39 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Violating culture now too! Well I’m sure pianoworld can be glad they have a defender of culture in you. I will continue to post how I feel comfortable thank you 😊


Well, in some places there is a culture of removing one's shoes when entering a private home, and in other places you keep your shoes on. I'm a shoes-off person, so if a guest insisted on walking around my home with his shoes on, I might start to feel a little annoyed. wink
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 01:45 PM

Originally Posted by pianist_lady
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Violating culture now too! Well I’m sure pianoworld can be glad they have a defender of culture in you. I will continue to post how I feel comfortable thank you 😊

Well, in some places there is a culture of removing one's shoes when entering a private home, and in other places you keep your shoes on. I'm a shoes-off person, so if a guest insisted on walking around my home with his shoes on, I might start to feel a little annoyed. wink

What a great example! And in fact there are those quite militant about their side of the shoe-on or shoe-off preference. Coming from Asia, I'm also a "shoe-off, look for the slippers" person. I've on rare occasion shed shoes in someone's home, and then been politely asked to put them back on. When this happens, I do wonder if it's that my socks are considered dirty, or if the homeowner has a shoe fetish! laugh
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 01:46 PM


Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I responded to that post, I guess the other "teachers" didn't want to offer their opinions.

Morodiene, who is a teacher, not a "teacher", gave a good and well thought out response. I have always found her responses to be well thought through, knowledgeable, and useful (useable).

Oh right I should have said “some teachers” I see my error in implying all. TimR will be glad I admitted this lol. It’s annoying pianoworld only allows limited time to edit.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 01:49 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by pianist_lady
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Violating culture now too! Well I’m sure pianoworld can be glad they have a defender of culture in you. I will continue to post how I feel comfortable thank you 😊

Well, in some places there is a culture of removing one's shoes when entering a private home, and in other places you keep your shoes on. I'm a shoes-off person, so if a guest insisted on walking around my home with his shoes on, I might start to feel a little annoyed. wink

What a great example! And in fact there are those quite militant about their side of the shoe-on or shoe-off preference. Coming from Asia, I'm also a "shoe-off, look for the slippers" person. I've on rare occasion shed shoes in someone's home, and then been politely asked to put them back on. When this happens, I do wonder if it's that my socks are considered dirty, or if the homeowner has a shoe fetish! laugh

Yeah though talking about an Internet forum with an international audience people should accept a variety of communication styles.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 01:55 PM


Originally Posted by dogperson
Accepted culture on this forum? Absolutely not! Responses range from one sentence or brief phrase to long paragraphs of a reply. Threads often ramble into off-topic conversations, some totally unrelated to the OP. . All have been tolerated.

There is not a PW thread culture and no poster has been called out for violating the assumption.

That’s a good bit of sense, I was starting to worry.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/07/19 08:34 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Well, do we have any evidence that when people disagree with you, or offer a different viewpoint, you give some consideration to the idea they might be right? Think before you answer. You may have a pattern you are unaware of.

Great point.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/08/19 12:39 AM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by pianist_lady
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Violating culture now too! Well I’m sure pianoworld can be glad they have a defender of culture in you. I will continue to post how I feel comfortable thank you 😊

Well, in some places there is a culture of removing one's shoes when entering a private home, and in other places you keep your shoes on. I'm a shoes-off person, so if a guest insisted on walking around my home with his shoes on, I might start to feel a little annoyed. wink

What a great example! And in fact there are those quite militant about their side of the shoe-on or shoe-off preference. Coming from Asia, I'm also a "shoe-off, look for the slippers" person. I've on rare occasion shed shoes in someone's home, and then been politely asked to put them back on. When this happens, I do wonder if it's that my socks are considered dirty, or if the homeowner has a shoe fetish! laugh


My family is also a "shoe-off" in the house. Slippers it is.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/08/19 04:25 AM

So one elabroation we can go into when taking care to build up our students is to understand how they think and process information we give them. There are four types of thinking that are general classifications, of course we can be combinations of a number of them at the same time.

Carl Jung observed that some intellectuals think best when handling abstract concepts, while others prefer dealing more directly with their senses, staying close to the impressions of sight and sound, touching, tasting and smelling. Then there are intuitive thinkers who rely on hunches more than abstract reasoning, artists of all kinds are often found in this category. Finally there are those who find emotions are more important than logic, once again a characteristic more likely to be found in art than in the science.

MIND STYLE WORKS BEST WITH HELPFUL FOR
Using intellect Abstract concepts Scientists
Sensing Sensations Farmers
Using intuition Hunches Artists
Feeling Emotions Therapists


In practice few people are exclusively one mind style or the other, it depends on circumstances obviously. It is still likely that one style of thinking will feel more natural and be used more effortlessly than the others however.

Dr David Kolb groups Jungs four into two main ways in which the events may be perceived:
1) Through abstraction (intellect, sensing, intuition)
2) Through direct experience (feeling)

Those who favor 1) are defined as abstractors and those 2) feelers. Feelers tend more to the actual experience itself. They perceive through their senses, They are involved. By contrast abstractors perceive at one step removed from their direct sensory experience. Having taken in relevant information from their surroundings, they create a highly abstract model in the mind, and this, rather than the real world, then becomes the focus of their perceptions. In a major human tragedy feelers would be emotionally involved in the plight of the victims, where the abstractors would be approaching it in a more analytical manner finding more general solutions such as transporting supplies to disaster areas.



The second step in thinking is the Processing stage where the information is acted on by the brain. There are two distinct groups, those who respond and those who reflect. Responders are fast to trail and error, give a young child some different shaped blocks to put through different shaped holes and the responders will without hesitation pick up the blocks and try to put them into the different holes. Reflectors however will sit back, think about the shapes and mentally try to solve the problem before attempting it, reflectors like to weigh up the pros and cons.

Combining Perception and Processing together we can generate four main groups of thought.

-Percieve: Feeling Process: Reflective = Involved Thinker.
-Percieve: Abstract Process: Reflective = Intellectual Thinker.
-Percieve: Abstract Process: Responder = Implementing Thinker.
-Percieve: Feeling Process: Responder = Inventive Thinker.


Definitions of the Four group combination of perception/processing.

Involved Thinker:
The mind style of people who perceive by feeling and emotionally observing the information, on which they then carefully reflect before proceeding. These type of thinkers search for the meanings in the world around them and are most interested in WHY questions. Sociable and cooperative who get deeply involved in anything that catches their attention and they are more interested in people than theories or objects.

Intellectual Thinker:
Objective, rational, logical and factual, often assertive and emotionally controlled. Interested in WHAT questions. These kind of thinkers do best in school and university. Although they only consist of about 25% of students, they do well with abstract and reflective subjects of which science and maths are heavily based upon.

Implementing Thinker:
Energetic doers rather than deep thinkers, prefer immediate action rather than lengngthy introspection. They have an urge to put ideas into practice as swiftly as possible. The best theory in the world is valueless unless it has immediate practical application. Dislike rules and authority figures and being handed answers on a plate, think most sucesfully when able to get hands-on experience. Interested in HOW questions.

Inventive Thinker:
Remain close in touch with their physical sensations. Unlike involved thinkers however they process by responding rather than through reflection reacting to intellectual challenges with more speed than thought. Enjoy change and variety, willing to take risks. Teachers might often consider these students as over impulsive and insufficiently thoughtful. Of all four mind styles inventive thinkers fare the worst in formal education and are least popular with teachers teaching academic subjects. Give an inventive child a plastic model they will not read the instructions but rather prefer pushing parts that might fit together being satisfied with the end result even if it is not what it should be if one followed the instructions.





There is a problem with how we have taught as a whole over the years. Institutions do not take into consideration what is the best method to teach the individual student. For the intellectual thinkers this is not a problem but for the other mind styles it can certainly be. The way education has long been organised can be likened to an athletics event where all competitors no matter what their disciple is must compete in the 100m sprint. Every competitor no matter what the body build, physical skills, is obliged to run the race. Those who do well are rewarded and those who do not are penalized and made to feel utter failures, despite the fact that it is the rules of the game rather than their own inadequacy that are responsible for that result.

It is important to realize that all mind styles are equally valid and given the right teaching and encouragement students can learn to become flexible thinkers, perceiving and processing information a way best suited to each circumstance.

http://changingminds.org/explanations/learning/kolb_learning.htm

I find that when we teach music there are certain disciplines which are easier for a particular student to grasp than others. If we consider the three types of memory we have in music, which I group as Conscious (sight reading, musical theory, observing pattern etc), Muscular (the feeling of playing a group of notes with single physical action) and Sound (Musical expression, listening to ones self etc) memory, we can see how certain mind types work better with these memory functions by comparison to others.

Briefly, the "intellectual mind" deals with conscious memory issues with ease,they also can percieve the other memory issues abstractly which makes them often the most flexible students to teach.

"Implimental minds" tend to enjoy general approaches and being guided to an answer rather than solving issues for them, pushing towards answers rather than forcing them works better. If I were to teach this mind type I would ensure that I am constantly asking them questions rather than giving answers. They like to be asked questions but not necessarily generate them for the teacher. I find these type of students work well with muscular memory issues, they like to get hands on experience asap without caution.

The "Inventive mind" is quite similar however they like to take charge of the what they do more so, you cannot tell them what to do, I found this quite common with students I taught with asperges, they have a system that they prefer and do not want to stray from their own method. I also currently teach one student who is really an inventor, he pulls apart electrical equipment and builds things out of them, in piano he behaves quite the same, enjoying to experiment with actions and exploring issues himself, during the lesson I have to help direct his explorations without telling him how to exactly do things, I may demonstrate to him how it might be done easier but do not impose that he achieve or struggle to do it that way. I need to let them do things in their own way predominantly. You need to praise their ideas and ask questions whether their approach might have improvements rather than trying to make changes to their methods directly. They like to generate the questions and explore them with the teacher. These students are very heavily involved in muscular memory but the conscious memory also is a main focus as well since they like to consider different ways in using the standard information.

The "involved mind" tends to be quite emotional when it comes to playing. They can easily get frustrated and angry when things get difficult, they also can look at other peoples progress and think more or less of themselves. They also yearn for appreciation for what they do. They like to know how the teacher does things or how other people do things and then relate that to how they do things. They like to learn like a parrot sometimes, mimicing what they appreciate in other peoples efforts. I find they excel in appreciating sound quality and emotion in music.

I am sure we can generate some other mind types, what do you think they could be? What type of mind types have you come across in your own teaching? Perhaps you may not really know how to lable a mind type but you can certainly describe how some students think differently and approach problems in different manners. How have you changed your approach in teaching these type of students based on the way in which they percieve and process certain information? Of course a student is usually not exclusively one mind type or the other but certainly we can pick up on what type(s) of thinking works best for them.

Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/08/19 01:16 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
So one elabroation we can go into when taking care to build up our students is to understand how they think and process information we give them...



Alternatively, the teacher could provide simple and direct feedback regarding the performance or execution of the skills being taught. Keeping a focus on the skill allows the learner to maintain sense of personal worth.

Everyone, regardless of learning style or preference, needs to learn to accept feedback or criticism. Specific feedback sounds like "The notes in this phrase need to be connected. Do it like this." It does not sound like this "You suck."
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/08/19 01:47 PM

Originally Posted by malkin
Specific feedback sounds like "The notes in this phrase need to be connected. Do it like this." It does not sound like this "You suck."



Yes. And fewer words are better, particularly with children. Never use ten words in a lesson if three will do. There may be rare exceptions.

One way to practice fewer words in a lesson might be to use fewer words in a post. Oh, wait..................................
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/08/19 05:03 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by keystring
I'd be interested in reading ideas about teaching or learning. any ideas. Anything other than speculations about who somebody is and the like. In that flood of "stuff" surely there is something that someone can take off on, and put into some kind of direction.

In this thread there is a student whose entire playing was dismantled completely, who could then not apply to college, and who spend several decades not playing. Are there no thoughts about this? Should "defective" (real or imagined) playing be dismantled like that? Are there alternatives? Have people experienced variations and choices in this? I think we had one teacher respond to that one.

I'd give thoughts if I could wade my way through all the comments NOT related to this. I just got on and saw this mess. I'd love to take some time and respond to his response to what I said, but I'm not sure this thread is recoverable.

It seem to me that some of you are suprised that the internet can cause chaos of reponses, can we really moderate people who come onto this thread and tangent it all with their one liners and commentary that doesn't dig deeper at any constructive questioning? The mess is not of my own creation it is the other members here so it is this forum which has people attempting to create a mess I guess I am happy to respond constructively to any question about what I have written and have done so every time at the same time I will call people up on their fear mongering and irrational ideologies about what I have written which seems to provoke people more to respond rather than something more intellectual which is understandable I guess lol.

Personally I am able to read everything on here and use my filter in my head to grasp hold of actual questions that are relevant to the thread. Some people have asked questions and there have been responses, people cry about walls of text but good grief I would think that many of us are academics who are used to reading a lot, apparently not so for some.

Way to tear me down and not build me up. I'm stressed out, and I don't want to slog through a bunch of argumentative or long-winded posts about such.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/08/19 05:16 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
....

Definitions of the Four group combination of perception/processing.
(followed by types of thinkers) .............


I have a massive allergy against any type of grouping, for the purpose of one-on-one (or any) teaching, to the point of nausea. I've been a victim of sucha thing three times to greater and lesser extents, and when teaching in the areas that I do teach, have rescued a few students out of that.

I want the teacher I work with to see me and hear me at this moment in time, what I'm doing, and what I'm saying, and not saying - together with the lens of understanding of this art and craft. This in fact is quite rare and precious.

When a teacher has "models" (various types are out there), then you get typecast according to those models, and from then on, anything you do or say is filtered into these models. What you supposedly think; what supposedly motivates you: etc., is what "they" (the prototype model 'thinker' in the chart) think, and you, the student, cease to exist. You are "they". It cuts any communication, deletes personhood, and becomes a dance of masks. it is horrible.

I do have teacher training, including educational psychology and some advanced postgraduate things. You don't use knowledge that way. The best teacher is still the one who can actually see and hear who/what is in front of him at that moment, and who has enough knowledge and skills in his craft that he can guide intelligently and wisely.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/08/19 05:27 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
You will notice that keystring writes longer posts than most, but despite not being a native English speaker her posts are well constructed and readable, and therefore people respond to them.

Actually, erm ... native English speaker here, resident of Canada for 60 years; education etc. English. smile But besides being a trained teacher in a first life, I'm also a linguist. My job is to take text (a message) written by someone in one language, and make it comprehensible without losing meaning in another language. You do rather get hung up in the idea of meaning and such in written form.

Music teachers work in the "here and now", in real time, in interaction, especially when working one-on-one. I think that may give another kind of thought flow and expression. Except that I've found that musicians seem to often use language more effectively even than a number of linguists (when expressing their own thoughts.)

Communication is also a two-way thing, and also involves listening, seeking to understand, and adjusting. I noticed that when the gentleman whose playing had been dismantled by an overenthiastic remediating type teacher, and then didn't play for decades .... the response involved personal experiences in having first learned to play by ear: markedly different than the original writer. How much was he heard?

Btw, I actually have attempted to shorten my posts due to feedback. The problem is that if it's super-brief, people have to read into it what you didn't say. If people with the same knowledge base and background converse, a lot can be left unsaid. How do you bridge that in forums?
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/08/19 05:30 PM

Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
So one elabroation we can go into when taking care to build up our students is to understand how they think and process information we give them...



Alternatively, the teacher could provide simple and direct feedback regarding the performance or execution of the skills being taught. Keeping a focus on the skill allows the learner to maintain sense of personal worth.

Everyone, regardless of learning style or preference, needs to learn to accept feedback or criticism. Specific feedback sounds like "The notes in this phrase need to be connected. Do it like this." It does not sound like this "You suck."


Yeah I agree asking for feedback is very important however I don't necessarily see it as a needs to be alternative to getting to understand how a student thinks in terms of a perspective analysing their style of thinking.

Asking for feedback in itself can be done in many ways as sometimes it is not as effective to use questions as a means of prompting a student to participate in discussion. Other techniques are just as effective and will often facilitate interpersonal interaction.

1) Declarative statements:The teacher expresses points of view, thoughts, summary statements etc about a topic. Subject statements will often prompt students to express their own views.

2) Reflective restatements: The teacher summarizes and reflects on what has been previously said. Such statements allow the teacher to focus on important aspects of content previously stated by students.

3) Prescriptions: The teacher tells a student to contribute to the discussion (eg: "tell me what you think?") This can be overdone (students would rather be asked than told what to do), but if used appropriately will encourage them to participate in the discussion.

4) Declarations of perplexity: Express concern or difficulty in finding a solution to a problem. This will often prompt the student to offer suggestions or solutions.

5) Invitations to elaborate: Invite the student to elaborate on statements made during the discussion. Students are often encouraged by such requests since in doing so the teacher is offering support to original statements made by the student.

6) Questions generated from other people: Ask the student to talk to their peers, friends or family about certain issues and come up with questions that they might be able to ask the teacher.

7) Deliberate silence: Silence will allow students an opportunity to reflect on subject matters. It is sometimes appropriate to have "think time" of silence at set intervals during discussion.

[Adapted from categories suggested by Dilton, J.T (1982) "Cognitive correspondence between question/statement and response" American Educational Research Journal, 19,540-51.]


Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by malkin
Specific feedback sounds like "The notes in this phrase need to be connected. Do it like this." It does not sound like this "You suck."



Yes. And fewer words are better, particularly with children. Never use ten words in a lesson if three will do. There may be rare exceptions.

One way to practice fewer words in a lesson might be to use fewer words in a post. Oh, wait..................................

Why don't you practice what you preach? Surely you have used enough words to express your hissy fits over my length of posts? Keep going if you really need to, it makes no difference to me lol. Do you consider yourself a child which requires short posts? What is a child doing on a teachers board? lol


Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by keystring
I'd be interested in reading ideas about teaching or learning. any ideas. Anything other than speculations about who somebody is and the like. In that flood of "stuff" surely there is something that someone can take off on, and put into some kind of direction.

In this thread there is a student whose entire playing was dismantled completely, who could then not apply to college, and who spend several decades not playing. Are there no thoughts about this? Should "defective" (real or imagined) playing be dismantled like that? Are there alternatives? Have people experienced variations and choices in this? I think we had one teacher respond to that one.

I'd give thoughts if I could wade my way through all the comments NOT related to this. I just got on and saw this mess. I'd love to take some time and respond to his response to what I said, but I'm not sure this thread is recoverable.

It seem to me that some of you are suprised that the internet can cause chaos of reponses, can we really moderate people who come onto this thread and tangent it all with their one liners and commentary that doesn't dig deeper at any constructive questioning? The mess is not of my own creation it is the other members here so it is this forum which has people attempting to create a mess I guess I am happy to respond constructively to any question about what I have written and have done so every time at the same time I will call people up on their fear mongering and irrational ideologies about what I have written which seems to provoke people more to respond rather than something more intellectual which is understandable I guess lol.

Personally I am able to read everything on here and use my filter in my head to grasp hold of actual questions that are relevant to the thread. Some people have asked questions and there have been responses, people cry about walls of text but good grief I would think that many of us are academics who are used to reading a lot, apparently not so for some.

Way to tear me down and not build me up. I'm stressed out, and I don't want to slog through a bunch of argumentative or long-winded posts about such.

So another person who needs to cry about length of posts, keep it coming, you guys are just repeating yourself, its not going to make me stop lol. You guys are really funny ^___^ Oh and are you considering yourself one of my students now that I should be building up? lol

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
....

Definitions of the Four group combination of perception/processing.
(followed by types of thinkers) .............

I have a massive allergy against any type of grouping, for the purpose of one-on-one (or any) teaching, to the point of nausea. I've been a victim of sucha thing three times to greater and lesser extents, and when teaching in the areas that I do teach, have rescued a few students out of that.

I want the teacher I work with to see me and hear me at this moment in time, what I'm doing, and what I'm saying, and not saying - together with the lens of understanding of this art and craft. This in fact is quite rare and precious.

When a teacher has "models" (various types are out there), then you get typecast according to those models, and from then on, anything you do or say is filtered into these models. What you supposedly think; what supposedly motivates you: etc., is what "they" (the prototype model 'thinker' in the chart) think, and you, the student, cease to exist. You are "they". It cuts any communication, deletes personhood, and becomes a dance of masks. it is horrible.

I do have teacher training, including educational psychology and some advanced postgraduate things. You don't use knowledge that way. The best teacher is still the one who can actually see and hear who/what is in front of him at that moment, and who has enough knowledge and skills in his craft that he can guide intelligently and wisely.

Rather than considering a student exactly fitting into this list it is rather important for a teacher to be aware of styles of thought, how it is then applied to the individual is a much more elaborate process which is not a part of this discussion. Since I am posting on a teachers board I would expect that once one knows the styles of thought they can ponder ways in which their very own student base react to information in our lessons. Of course if someone is not a teacher dealing with many students they may be fearful that this is merely a way to treat students with a formula where really it isn't.

Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/08/19 08:57 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Rather than considering a student exactly fitting into this list it is rather important for a teacher to be aware of styles of thought, how it is then applied to the individual is a much more elaborate process which is not a part of this discussion. Since I am posting on a teachers board I would expect that once one knows the styles of thought they can ponder ways in which their very own student base react to information in our lessons. Of course if someone is not a teacher dealing with many students they may be fearful that this is merely a way to treat students with a formula where really it isn't.

This "awareness of (these formalized) styles of thought" is still an artificial thing. In actual fact, both as a teacher helping students, and as a student at the receiving end of this, I am not impressed with what I've seen. For that matter, in my own educational psychology during my training, such things do get taught. It is artificial and one should be aware of that. The fact of "being a teacher" does not make anyone immune to misuse.

I'm not sure why you are writing about someone "not being a teacher" or being "fearful" .... nobody here is "fearful" of anyone/thing. You have also called a colleague a "child". I am writing of things that I have seen and experienced: there is no speculative abstract fear as you are implying. I would want any teacher working with me to steer away from such things. Listening, truly listening, is an underrated skill, but one we are all capable of with practice and will.

Again:
- be able to truly listen, moment to moment, to who is in front of you, observing, observant
- have the knowledge to impart in the first place

It is that "simple".

Actually,I don't know if anyone is being heard, including myself, and that may be the sign to bow out. wink
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 01:06 AM

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by malkin
Specific feedback sounds like "The notes in this phrase need to be connected. Do it like this." It does not sound like this "You suck."



Yes. And fewer words are better, particularly with children. Never use ten words in a lesson if three will do. There may be rare exceptions.

Exactly so. My inclination was to use fewer words. However, I chose to elaborate in order to make my point in writing on this much misunderstood thread.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 02:52 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Rather than considering a student exactly fitting into this list it is rather important for a teacher to be aware of styles of thought, how it is then applied to the individual is a much more elaborate process which is not a part of this discussion. Since I am posting on a teachers board I would expect that once one knows the styles of thought they can ponder ways in which their very own student base react to information in our lessons. Of course if someone is not a teacher dealing with many students they may be fearful that this is merely a way to treat students with a formula where really it isn't.

This "awareness of (these formalized) styles of thought" is still an artificial thing.

I am not sure what you mean by "artificial" or understand the pitfalls you suggest of considering ways in which people think, it seems to me ignoring it would be ignoring information which may be useful for one to use to determine strategies for transferring knowledge. Understanding thinking types is a way in which we can appreciate the many ways in which people learn, it not necessarily suggests that we are not flexible thinkers. As a teacher I do not tag a student as being one mind type or the other but I am instead aware of the many ways in which one might approach a given problem. Some teachers may fall into a singular way in which they transfer knowledge to their students, it might be good for these teachers to add to their teaching skills and become aware how different minds might approach a given problem.

Originally Posted by keystring

In actual fact, both as a teacher helping students, and as a student at the receiving end of this, I am not impressed with what I've seen. For that matter, in my own educational psychology during my training, such things do get taught. It is artificial and one should be aware of that. The fact of "being a teacher" does not make anyone immune to misuse.

So are you assuming that being aware of this sets one up for misuse exclusively? Surely there must be a way in which this is indeed helpful for ones journey into teaching an individual student, to be aware of ways in which students may recieve knowledge. Indeed there are many instances were we "do not know we do not know" so understanding theory in the styles of thoughts may opens us up to possibilites we may otherwise neglect. I do not see this all in an exclusively negative light but can appreciate some may neglect the possbility of flexible thinking.

Originally Posted by keystring

I'm not sure why you are writing about someone "not being a teacher" or being "fearful" .... nobody here is "fearful" of anyone/thing. You have also called a colleague a "child".

I did not call them a child at all, if you read the context of what was written to me initially that I should practice shorter posts because it may benefit children that I may teach, you will understand my response, you need to read the context and not sentences isolated from that. Indeed to really appreciate the styles of thought you need to have a large student base because then you really do see from the many examples you teach how some use parts of these styles and how some may indeed be much more concentrated in one parts than the others. Things become more clearly understood when you have an actual sample space to apply it to, something a teacher who teaches many students has, someone who does not teach and does not deal with hundreds of examples of individuals and the way in which they process infromation generally only have themselves to consider.

I am not I understand your emphasis of "fear" where in my post did I elaborate on fear to such an extent that it prompted you to respond to that word so often?

Originally Posted by keystring

I am writing of things that I have seen and experienced: there is no speculative abstract fear as you are implying.

Again I am unsure what kind of "fear" you think I was talking about. Doing a word search on my previous post I used the word fear merely as a description of the mistake of categorising a student into one thinking type or the other and thus teaching in a bais manner and not as an individual: "Of course if someone is not a teacher dealing with many students they may be fearful that this is merely a way to treat students with a formula where really it isn't." Is it wrong to suggest that someone might fear or be concerned with this? The word fear can be replaced with many other words, it is not actually required, it was just a choice I used, I wouldn't read too deeply into that.


Originally Posted by keystring

I would want any teacher working with me to steer away from such things. Listening, truly listening, is an underrated skill, but one we are all capable of with practice and will.

I don't see how being aware of styles of thought would limit ones ability to listen to the individual student at hand could you elaborate how having knowledge of styles of thought would impede ones ability to listen to an individual needs of a student and understanding how a student may think? Why can't it be used as a part of the tool set for dealing with a students ability to process infromation? I don't understand why your opinion is that it has to be exclusively bad and has zero use at all, you are suggesting at the very foundation this type of research has zero value and is detrimental rather than offering any glimmer of useful application which personally I think is limiting our view rather than expanding it.

Originally Posted by keystring

Again:
- be able to truly listen, moment to moment, to who is in front of you, observing, observant
- have the knowledge to impart in the first place

It is that "simple".

Actually,I don't know if anyone is being heard, including myself, and that may be the sign to bow out. wink

I don't see how anything I have written is encouraging not to listen perhaps you can expand upon anything I have written and quote where you think my response is encouraging such things. In fact I think that being aware of the styles of thought actually encourages one to listen furthermore and investigate deeper into a students method of learning. It of course is not to vito power all descision making but it can be used as a tool to enchance teaching approach.

You write "have the knowledge to impart" what does this exaclty mean? Knowledge of the subject taught naturally but how to "impart" it? There must be multiple ways in which things can be taught each which be affected by the way in which the student processes infromation in the given situation. We are mostly flexible thinkers using all types of thinking in different intensities and variations a teacher with a large student base teaching the same ideas over and over again notices the many ways in which certain issues are learned by many different individuals and thus styles of thought naturally becomes an element and something we certainly notice in our students. So the ways to "impart" knowledge becomes multidimensional and understanding the styles of thinking is one way to opens roads to this.
Posted By: Opus_Maximus

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 05:02 AM

I think the OP is just trying to say that the best learning happens when the teacher creates an atmosphere in the room that does not simulate that of the student being waterboarded. (Which is how so many teach).
Posted By: Opus_Maximus

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 05:24 AM

We're all arguing the same point.

I think too many are taking the OP to mean that teachers should ignore weaknesses. Teaching is - by nature - correcting weaknesses, don't think anybody here disagrees with that.

But the TONE and MANNER in which a teacher chooses to address these weaknesses can make all the difference.

Case in point: About a year ago a boy came to me as a transfer student. He had grown frustrated with his old teacher because she was very obessive about his hand position, and would not let him play most of what he wanted to play until his hand position was fixed The longer time went on and the more he was unable to fix it, the more fixated she beacame on it (and as a result the more him and his mom started worrying about it). When they came to me, I saw that, indeed, his technique was not optimal. I chose to address it but not harp on it. We can spent a few minutes in the lesson talking about technique, but most of the lesson focusing on what he CAN do. Like the OP, I don't agree that everything HAS to be right, all the time. Sometimes there is a greater good that one must be willing to lose battles for.
Since then I've discovered this student has perfect pitch, and is capable of composing complex melodies away from the piano. Nobody in his past had the slightest idea (Including himself). Because his reading and musical confidence has grown, his technique has also improved, and now his hand position is getting better. But if I had chosen to focus only on the negative, of making him very aware of what he could NOT do rather than trying to find more positive ways to move forward, none of this would have happened.

Piano playing starts in mind, above all else. Making sure the person's mind and spirit is in the right place is the point of departutre for everything else.

(And yes, there are a few know-it-all students who won't listen to anybody and don't even want help. No teacher, no matter how good, can deal with these fools. But I think they are the minority)
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 01:21 PM

Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
I think the OP is just trying to say that the best learning happens when the teacher creates an atmosphere in the room that does not simulate that of the student being waterboarded. (Which is how so many teach).


If I post "Always let students breathe, never suffocate them!" and then pontificate in thousands of words about the benefits of respiration and the side effects caused by suffocation I would not be surprised that many readers would infer that the post was suggesting that they were depriving students of oxygen and that they were unaware of the rather well documented need that humans have for oxygen.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 01:28 PM

Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
I think the OP is just trying to say that the best learning happens when the teacher creates an atmosphere in the room that does not simulate that of the student being waterboarded. (Which is how so many teach).


If I post "Always let students breathe, never suffocate them!" and then pontificate in thousands of words about the benefits of respiration and the side effects caused by suffocation I would not be surprised that many readers would infer that the post was suggesting that they were depriving students of oxygen and that they were unaware of the rather well documented need that humans have for oxygen.

You are hilarious! laugh (not being sarcastic! grin )
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 03:27 PM

Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
I think the OP is just trying to say that the best learning happens when the teacher creates an atmosphere in the room that does not simulate that of the student being waterboarded. (Which is how so many teach).

A danger that is so easily forgotten as teachers get so caught up over getting results in the way they think works best.

I think it is a shame that some teachers can treat lessons like a dictatorship so you find students who merely become robotic pawns who do whatever the teacher demands, a demand that deletes any answers that a student might come up with and inserts the teachers solution without any negotiation process. It can be hard to get teachers to bring themselves down to their students level, some want to simply drag the students up and if the process fails or the learning curve becomes very steep they don't realize that it is their fault not the students. Teachers should investigate students past works, puzzle through the thought processes that went through the students mind, get to know how they came up with their solutions to problems, it gives insight into their inner workings and you should build upon that and discuss not merely demand replacement.

As teachers we should enjoy looking through the "students glasses" not break it down and ignore it and replacing it with a "better" way but build upon their very framework and then find that they will make developments themselves without you having to force it with a result that you demand.

This all boils more down to the very foundations of the learning and creative processes and human relationship, something I feel is much more important than just increasing the playing level. Ones playing level can be restricted severely but that doesn't mean we think lesser of ourselves and teachers certainly should not think lesser of the students. Some teachers/school only take the best students or the highest achievers, maybe they are not interested in anything else which I personally believe is a shame. Students however should not feel any less of themselves if they can't get lessons from these kind of teachers or institutions. It really is about your own journey and in there lies a uniqueness and something very precious.

There was an extreme case with a low functioning autistic student that I taught for several years that taught me about everyone having a unique, precious personal journey and that has nothing to do with playing ability. This student taught me a great deal about the very foundations of the learning spirit. I mentioned to their parents that I wasn't a music therapist and was not trained to deal with such a student but they insisted I give lessons a try.

So what happened is that we ended up doing the same "lesson one" routine for probably 6 months or more, over and over... and over again. After a few weeks I thought that it was such a waste of time, I realized I was unable to introduce anything else since most simplest ideas were a great challenge and every time I tried to drag her up to learn something else it failed miserably. In those first few lessons I felt very tempted to tell the parents that there was no hope for their child to learn the piano but I upheld a positive demeanor even though underneath it all I was a nervous wreck.

It was only when I starting thinking it was MY problem and not the students that I saw the lesson in a totally different light and started to like the student more and our interaction. I found that it was my duty to bring myself down to the students level and to see what it was that they needed and appreciated themselves and not a judgment of what I envisioned that they needed and what results they should enjoy achieving. I found that they needed to feel safe and secure in the lessons, to have a routine they could follow and understand and importantly have a positive, comfortable and relaxed relationship with me as their teacher. I could build up these no matter what the capability level and I found as we built this up that it merely required the students own time to make changes to their capabilities not me forcing it into action.

The lesson required a huge amount of constant repetition which would have required that I had super human patience if I had held that image in my mind as to what they should achieve and how they should achieve it. It was only because I fully surrendered that image of where I thought they needed to be and allowed it to be fully based on the students capability and desires that patience on my behalf really became no longer part of the the equation at all. I was able to focus in on the foundation of their learning, creativity and their interaction with me all which where being built up. I began to enjoy the starting routine of opening up the piano to show them the insides and let them inspect it all and how the hammers moved.

I really did like the student a great deal more and began to notice how much they actually liked doing the same safe procedure countless times and how that built their confidence and feeling of safety and relaxation in the lessons. I then saw actual playing skill progression which I couldn't detect before when stuck in my own mind. I occasionally tested if we could go further and further with incredibly small baby steps and eventually (after 6 months) I could add more and more and we could start building on top of that first lesson little by little, and I mean little by little in the tiniest sense.

I could see these steps forward because I had magnified my attention so close to their own capabilities, but if I were to remove that magnification and see from a higher level it all would again seem so miniscule and easily considered irrelevant. In fact if I told you it took 6 months to merely be able to find and control a five finger position with much experimentation and “playing around” to find it on their own you would think what a waste of time and how meaningless it is, then to realize it took several months more to develop the use particular fingers combinations together - if you really thought about it on your own terms you would think it is such a tiny improvement and it is useless, but if you look at it from the students perspective it is really a monumental achievement.

Fast forward a few years at the end of our lessons they were playing a number of pieces with two hands and creating their own music. When I think of where they came from it really was a huge difference like day and night but to someone else it might seem very uninspiring and a waste of time. Surely it is something a "normal" functioning person could achieve in a few weeks but for this special needs student it was an amazing achievement, really quite brilliant. I was sad when they moved location but the experience changed me a huge amount when dealing with all my other "normal" functioning students.

Many years later I came across this video and I got a huge "ah ha" moment. It really encouraged me that what happened back then was on the right track.

https://youtu.be/RI1yM3lnCEg


Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
We're all arguing the same point.

I think too many are taking the OP to mean that teachers should ignore weaknesses. Teaching is - by nature - correcting weaknesses, don't think anybody here disagrees with that.

Yeah it was said several times in the first few pages of this thread so I addressed this fear.


Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus

But the TONE and MANNER in which a teacher chooses to address these weaknesses can make all the difference.

Yes and here lies the large and important difference.

Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus

Case in point: About a year ago a boy came to me as a transfer student. He had grown frustrated with his old teacher because she was very obessive about his hand position, and would not let him play most of what he wanted to play until his hand position was fixed The longer time went on and the more he was unable to fix it, the more fixated she beacame on it (and as a result the more him and his mom started worrying about it). When they came to me, I saw that, indeed, his technique was not optimal. I chose to address it but not harp on it. We can spent a few minutes in the lesson talking about technique, but most of the lesson focusing on what he CAN do. Like the OP, I don't agree that everything HAS to be right, all the time. Sometimes there is a greater good that one must be willing to lose battles for.
Since then I've discovered this student has perfect pitch, and is capable of composing complex melodies away from the piano. Nobody in his past had the slightest idea (Including himself). Because his reading and musical confidence has grown, his technique has also improved, and now his hand position is getting better. But if I had chosen to focus only on the negative, of making him very aware of what he could NOT do rather than trying to find more positive ways to move forward, none of this would have happened.

This was well written, it exactly encapsulates the spirit of my opening post and something I have experienced many times with transfer students who were suffocated by their previous teachers. Of course it is not all devastating what they learned from those teachers but their creativity and inspiration is often suffering serious supression and marginalization.
You said "... I don't agree that everything HAS to be right, all the time. Sometimes there is a greater good that one must be willing to lose battles for." Which I think is something that should be stuck on the walls of every music school. I have come across too many students who have not moved onto the next piece unless it was done "perfectly" or exactly as how their teacher wanted, they are almost always stunted in so many ways because of it.

Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus

Piano playing starts in mind, above all else. Making sure the person's mind and spirit is in the right place is the point of departutre for everything else.

So true, being motivated and inspired to learn is a great force, self motivation, the magic of thinking big and setting goals.

Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus

(And yes, there are a few know-it-all students who won't listen to anybody and don't even want help. No teacher, no matter how good, can deal with these fools. But I think they are the minority)

Yes a minority, you also can get parents who insist you teach a certain way, I think some kind of compromise is fine but when there is no chance of this then you wonder why they want a teacher.

Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Opus_Maximus
I think the OP is just trying to say that the best learning happens when the teacher creates an atmosphere in the room that does not simulate that of the student being waterboarded. (Which is how so many teach).


If I post "Always let students breathe, never suffocate them!" and then pontificate in thousands of words about the benefits of respiration and the side effects caused by suffocation I would not be surprised that many readers would infer that the post was suggesting that they were depriving students of oxygen and that they were unaware of the rather well documented need that humans have for oxygen.

Maybe if your readers are paranoid and lack self confidence. Such delicate petals out there lol :P
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 03:48 PM

I got lost in this part (or it got lost):

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by malkin


Alternatively, the teacher could provide simple and direct feedback regarding the performance or execution of the skills being taught. Keeping a focus on the skill allows the learner to maintain sense of personal worth.

Everyone, regardless of learning style or preference, needs to learn to accept feedback or criticism. Specific feedback sounds like "The notes in this phrase need to be connected. Do it like this." It does not sound like this "You suck."


Yeah I agree asking for feedback is very important however I don't necessarily see it as a needs to be alternative to getting to understand how a student thinks in terms of a perspective analysing their style of thinking.

Asking for feedback in itself can be done in many ways .................

Malkin wrote about a teacher giving feedback to a student, and also gave an example, "The notes in this phrase need to be connected. Do it like this." This also went to my point of positive (work toward something), vs. negative (this is wrong - don't do this wrong thing). I'm not sure that this point of mine was heard.

You the wrote about feedback. But what you wrote about was feedback that the teacher gets FROM the student. It is a different topic, different goals.

What do you think about the concept of giving a student concrete, doable feedback - guiding as to what to do - as opposed to telling a student what she did wrong and must not do? This was also my concept that I put forth.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 03:58 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
I got lost in this part (or it got lost):

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by malkin


Alternatively, the teacher could provide simple and direct feedback regarding the performance or execution of the skills being taught. Keeping a focus on the skill allows the learner to maintain sense of personal worth.

Everyone, regardless of learning style or preference, needs to learn to accept feedback or criticism. Specific feedback sounds like "The notes in this phrase need to be connected. Do it like this." It does not sound like this "You suck."


Yeah I agree asking for feedback is very important however I don't necessarily see it as a needs to be alternative to getting to understand how a student thinks in terms of a perspective analysing their style of thinking.

Asking for feedback in itself can be done in many ways .................

Malkin wrote about a teacher giving feedback to a student, and also gave an example, "The notes in this phrase need to be connected. Do it like this." This also went to my point of positive (work toward something), vs. negative (this is wrong - don't do this wrong thing). I'm not sure that this point of mine was heard.

You the wrote about feedback. But what you wrote about was feedback that the teacher gets FROM the student. It is a different topic, different goals.

What do you think about the concept of giving a student concrete, doable feedback - guiding as to what to do - as opposed to telling a student what she did wrong and must not do? This was also my concept that I put forth.

Well I said that feedback can be done in many ways, this includes reversing the roles of who gives the feedback. It is a known technique to provoke feedback from your students to get them to think then reflect back what you think about that with a response to that with feedback of your own, this is to avoid it being simply a one way street. So I am not neglecting the comment at all but offering the ways in which it can occur from the students perspective also which is a critical point of this thread if one is to know how a student works as to build them up appropriately and not just teach over the top of their individuality.

As to your comment " What do you think about the concept of giving a student concrete, doable feedback - guiding as to what to do - as opposed to telling a student what she did wrong and must not do? This was also my concept that I put forth."

Throughout this entire thread I have described ways in which we present our lesson to our student, so you will not get me summarizing everything I said, you might want to read through everything I wrote. I may elaborate on correctives as such however:

When we are giving a lesson to a student and assessing their work we need to take care as to how we provide the students feedback and corrective measures to improve their knowledge/capability. I would like to briefly discuss a number of inappropriate examples that should be avoided thus perhaps you can gain insight into what to do.

- Negligent supporter:
Simply these teachers neglect to give students feedback and correctives. They are usually satisfied that they are able to explain subjects the first time and the students will absorb it all. After explaining or demonstrating they fail to check that the student has really understood the lesson. They do not allow much room if at all for questioning from the student during the lesson so there is little feedback and correctives being used.

- Negative contributor:
These kind of teachers provide a lot of feedback but it is always of the negative kind. They often say things like "students need to know where they make mistakes" and spend a great deal of time telling them what errors they have made. The subject matter they present is often too difficult for the student and/or their explanations and demonstrations are inadequate (eg: not communicate at the level of the students comprehension), and so they have to spend a great deal of time giving negative feedback.

- Dilatory grader:
These teachers are so slow in assessing and returning results to students that the results and comments are of little help as feedback. Routine work tasks are rarely assessed on time and the students have to wait for knowledge of results on their learning process. Feedback is always so late that the students are unable to take advantage of the information when it is provided .

- Feckless diagnostician and poor provider of correctives:
Unable to give appropriate correctives because of inadequate knowledge of the students learning problems. They do not attend to the details of the students responses and often fail to diagnose gaps in the students understanding of the subject matter. They are thus unable to provide the required correctives that will help students overcome their problems, or they are reluctant to modify their teaching methods so their corrective instruction can become effective.

[Feedback and Correctives from "Teaching Principles and Practice" Peter G. Cole + Lorna K.S Chan]

Posted By: PianoStudent88

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 05:28 PM

I am a piano student, not a piano teacher. However I have other topics I teach occasionally and I am very interested in ideas about teaching.

LostinidleWonder, I found your description of entering into the point of view of your autistic student to be very moving.

I found your description of ways of thinking/processing to be useful to me, because I recognized a lot about myself in the description of an abstract thinker. It leads me to think about trying to escape my usual abstract filter in certain activities I do, and see what happens if I try to immerse myself in the sensation of the experience instead.
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 06:00 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Throughout this entire thread I have described...


Oh how I would love to insert a whole bunch more adjectives in front of the word "thread..."


Posted By: PianoStudent88

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 06:19 PM

LostinidleWonder, I also want to thank you for posting the link to the PianoStreet thread Four Thinking Styles of Perception/Process where I have found a lot to reflect on, from many angles, about teaching and learning
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 06:24 PM

Right turn, Clyde.

Teaching is a solitary activity. It is extremely rare to observe a teacher in the natural habitat.

How, then, can we know anything about what they do so badly?

We have evidence from people who accept transfer students with deficiencies that something went wrong. it isn't necessarily true that anything being discussed here was involved.
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 06:38 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Right turn, Clyde.

Teaching is a solitary activity. It is extremely rare to observe a teacher in the natural habitat.

How, then, can we know anything about what they do so badly?

We have evidence from people who accept transfer students with deficiencies that something went wrong. it isn't necessarily true that anything being discussed here was involved.


I wonder if the OP is speaking from personal experience about the mistakes he himself made as a teacher, and what he's learned from them. If so, some transparency about that would be welcome.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 07:53 PM

Originally Posted by Andamento
[quote=TimR]/quote]

I wonder if the OP is speaking from personal experience about the mistakes he himself made as a teacher, and what he's learned from them. If so, some transparency about that would be welcome.


Yeah, but could he possibly have made ALL those mistakes? In just 25 years of teaching? whistle

My impression from his previous posts is that he's probably a pretty decent teacher.
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/09/19 11:11 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Andamento
[quote=TimR]/quote]

I wonder if the OP is speaking from personal experience about the mistakes he himself made as a teacher, and what he's learned from them. If so, some transparency about that would be welcome.


Yeah, but could he possibly have made ALL those mistakes? In just 25 years of teaching? whistle


Probably not all of those mistakes. smile

And, yes, he may have heard some stories from transfer students about their previous teachers' approaches.

But what he himself has witnessed with his own eyes, either as the student or the teacher in the teacher-student relationship, would probably give him the most knowledge about what to do or not do as a teacher.

I think -- the OP can correct me if I'm wrong -- that analyzing his own teaching mistakes may have been more the thing that caused him to learn what he did, and become a better teacher for it. I say that because of his reaction to one of your posts. You said:

Quote
When I read LiW's opening sermon/monologue, I see the dictionary meaning of the words, but what I feel is a deeply personal impact to him, as if he were the one who's received some abusive instruction ala the Whiplash movie, and probably recently. Given what I know about his convoluted writing style, I have no idea how much was intended vs accidental, so I haven't responded much. I suspect some of the other posters here are reacting to it.


and he responded:

Quote
I love your imagination TimR :P


That response makes me question now whether he received bad or abusive instruction, or witnessed anyone else receiving such from another teacher. He seemed to be laughing at your response. (Your response, IMO, being a kind, thoughtful, compassionate one, acknowledging that there could be something deeply personal behind what he's writing here.)

I don't think he'd ridicule your post like that if he had been on the receiving end of damaging teaching.

He learned what he learned from somewhere, but despite everything he's written on this thread, it isn't clear how he's come to the conclusions he has.

All I know is that one's own experience can be a mighty fine teacher.
Posted By: ebonykawai

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 02:01 AM

Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Throughout this entire thread I have described...


Oh how I would love to insert a whole bunch more adjectives in front of the word "thread..."




I could say I am shocked that this thread is still going but I'm not, lol.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 02:40 AM

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I could say I am shocked that this thread is still going but I'm not, lol.

Only 346 posts to go to break the record set 10 years ago for longest thread in Piano Teachers Forum. What do you say? Shall we make a run for it?

Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 03:40 AM

If measured by words/post I'm sure this thread would already be a contender.
Posted By: outo

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 04:03 AM

I think posts like the OP are wasted on this forum where many (not all) teachers seem to come to vent their frustrations only or seek validation to their personal image as great teachers who know everything, have nothing to learn and who are forced to teach students that simply are too lazy, too stubborn or too stupid to learn...or have uncooperative parents...or whatever. The idea that there may be ways that might get better results with challenging students or that research in human fields could bring any useful new knowledge to teaching does not fit well with this kind of mindset.

On the other hand intelligent mature discussions is not what Internet forums are known for, so posting such essays will inevitably lead into trashing and cynicism.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 04:30 AM

Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Throughout this entire thread I have described...


Oh how I would love to insert a whole bunch more adjectives in front of the word "thread..."


What a useless contribution Andamento, this kind of kibitizing on the sidelines really highlights a bad attitude towards information sharing on pianoworld.

People who just complain and cry on the sidelines don't really make themselves look any better and their small group of friends who join in, really it a marginalized minority who are crying out loud, there are many more people seriously reading threads.

Originally Posted by TimR
Right turn, Clyde.

Teaching is a solitary activity. It is extremely rare to observe a teacher in the natural habitat.

How, then, can we know anything about what they do so badly?

We have evidence from people who accept transfer students with deficiencies that something went wrong. it isn't necessarily true that anything being discussed here was involved.

Are we are not to trust what our students tell us or when we read their journal and see the exact writing from their previous teacher does this not give us insight into their past?

Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Throughout this entire thread I have described...


Oh how I would love to insert a whole bunch more adjectives in front of the word "thread..."




I could say I am shocked that this thread is still going but I'm not, lol.

There is a lot to discuss ignoring the irrelevant posts by a few loud people who are QQ everywhere because they don't know how to constructively contribute and add to useful knowledge, they just want to attempt to take away even though their efforts are rather puny.


Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Andamento
[quote=TimR]/quote]

I wonder if the OP is speaking from personal experience about the mistakes he himself made as a teacher, and what he's learned from them. If so, some transparency about that would be welcome.


Yeah, but could he possibly have made ALL those mistakes? In just 25 years of teaching? whistle

My impression from his previous posts is that he's probably a pretty decent teacher.

Well TimR I don't really need your "probable" thumbs up as much as I don't need your vehmented thumbs down. Just discuss the issues, contribute and add knowledge that is the purpose.

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I could say I am shocked that this thread is still going but I'm not, lol.

Only 346 posts to go to break the record set 10 years ago for longest thread in Piano Teachers Forum. What do you say? Shall we make a run for it?

We? We certainly don't need irrelevant sideline kibitz from numberous unconstructive replies, that is a real shame and doesn't show that these few loud minorities are very sharing in knowledge but rather voicing marginalized judgement. If you think this kind of activity makes ones reputation here look any better I think you may need to reevaluate that type of contribution because it clearly isn't very useful to the majority of others. Continue if you have to it really makes no difference to me though I do appreciate the bumping up of my threads :P
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 04:33 AM

Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I am a piano student, not a piano teacher. However I have other topics I teach occasionally and I am very interested in ideas about teaching.

LostinidleWonder, I found your description of entering into the point of view of your autistic student to be very moving.

I found your description of ways of thinking/processing to be useful to me, because I recognized a lot about myself in the description of an abstract thinker. It leads me to think about trying to escape my usual abstract filter in certain activities I do, and see what happens if I try to immerse myself in the sensation of the experience instead.

That is what is good about forums that we can share knowledge and help others grow as well as get various perspectives from others experiences. That particular autistic student I taught was among the lowest functioning student I had ever come across in all my teaching experience and will forever stick in my mind in a positive sense. She taught me such a great deal as I described in that post and I think those kind of students will forever mark your teaching soul and change you. Where others might find dificult students are mere failures and are not worthy of our teaching regieme, really we should be thinking if a student is failing it is our problem.

One valuable part of my teaching is to deal with problem cases, those who are not doing well. You often find if they fail at activities in piano terribly they also fail in other aspects of their education, as a teacher we really are often teaching tools that are greater than our subject sometimes. One issue that I am careful to assess is whether a student is being honest with themselves and with others, this to me is as problematic as dealing with autistic students but in a different manner, the building up of these students is just as difficult I feel and a long term procedure but it can be done.

A student being completely honest in terms of how much work they put into their piano every week is something I feel teachers can miss out on. Many younger kids like to tell me they practice every day but occasionally I don't believe it, they like to persuade me that they have given it a good effort for the week and some even in the past they have pretended to be not as skilled so they don't have to get through as much work! The level of dishonesty someone has with themselves really does effect a lot in their life.

I used to also tutor maths and science to high school students in my late teens and early 20s and first noticed this pattern of not being honest with oneself especially with those who were struggling with their marks. They like to make people believe they are studying hours every day but they are being so dishonest to themselves, so long they can get others to believe that they are trying it is good enough, they really don't ask themselves if they believe it sincerely. I would start saying to my students "You don't have to convince me! You need to be really honest with yourself it is your future not mine!" I was a bit harsh back then now I like to think I am a little more clever in trying to make them more disciplined beasts.

When I try and encourage my students who progress very slowly to be more honest with themselves I set a smaller amount of work for them, small enough that success should not require too much effort (sometimes I will lower my expectations considerably, the aim is to give them an amount they cannot fail with minimal daily effort though I do not tell them that!). We ensured in the lesson they knew exactly how to practice the passage (observed them practice in the lesson without any input from myself for that proof) then set them a challenge to do this practice routine every single day x amount of times (not minute/hour time but rather successful practice routines of what was set).

I highlight to these students that if practice is done correctly then the time required is very short, but if they practice bad then the time will increase. Some youngsters I will challenge them to play the phrase x times with no mistakes and if there is a mistake the count must go back to 0, this is one good technique they can use while practice alone to monitor their control.

When I started teaching piano I would set my expectations too high for all my students but this is not a good idea for those who struggle with daily practice and especially detrimental for those who are used to failure (eg: low grades at school). It is much more encouraging when they can gain confidence that they can complete tasks successfully on their own, so it becomes a duty of a teacher of these students to give small projects that they shouldn't fail.

How we increase the workload of these students over time needs to be done very carefully because demoralizing them with failure really has a roll on effect. If they fail it often makes them want to give up and then they regress in their motivation to practice on their own. I found that often these students are not really requiring to get better at the piano as such but better at their approach to studying something with discipline. This has an effect on their schooling and even their daily life. I have even asked some of my students to make their bed every day instead of expecting their mum to do it, it is a simple action to include into their daily habit and trains their discipline. I have even asked one student to do a single star jump every morning when they wake up lol. Something very simple that requires them to think about making a change in their daily habits can train their brains to remember to do a duty every day.

Piano thus has becomes a device to teach discipline rather than musical capability with some of my students and especially those who have problems being honest with themselves or severely lack confidence in themselves. Of course we improve their musicality and technical ability but the real lesson for them is to know they can be disciplined beasts and be honest about that!

I teach a whole range of students from all levels though the frustrations with being honest with ones self does tend to mostly surround beginners/intermediates (thought even advanced students can be fooling themselves in many ways, for example I've had a number of students who have finished all exam grade and yet are not honest with themselves in terms of their sight reading ability, they prefer to ignore it or make excuses why they can't or that they don't feel they even need to improve etc, though I see this putting up of barriers as not being honest with oneself!)

Even with my more advanced students I am still pushing them to work on their discipline but it is at a different level. They practice daily no problem but what about monitoring their goal setting, work ethic, motivation, vision for the future. Goal/dream setting, motivation etc is something that exists even in those who are competent pianists but most of them already know of it and it is the beginners who neglect it completely without honestly giving it a shot!


I don't necessarily have to see the effect of my teaching sometimes I don't have lessons with students long enough to see the long term effect I had with them. The good seeds (and unfortunately the bad ones, yes I remember the bad teachers I had and will never emulate them) of our teaching can have have the larger effect many years down the track. A number of years ago I got a message from one of my students I had taught almost 20 years ago when he was a 5 year old child. I rememberd him well and in our lessons we just wanted him to enjoy piano and find his love for it, he was talented but I always reminded him that the teacher can't make him better he has to do most of the work on his own and I will make sure he stays on track.

I remember the last piece we worked on was a pretty full on version of the Starwars Title theme which he was infatuated with, large chords for a young boy but he managed it all, when I caught up him again years later he played for me Liszt's Mephisto Waltz no 1 and Un Sospiro and Shubert famous Impromptu no3. Was so impressed with his progress and sound, but was very flattered he said it was the love for piano that I taught him at the start that fueled his desire to go further and further. Sometimes we are not meant to see the full effect we have on our students, but some of them remember it even if we don't or didn't even realize it! Come to think of it there are many teachers I adore from my past who have no idea how much they actually helped me in my life even today. All of these teachers made me love knowledge and learning, they always built me up never tore me down, empowered me, had confidence in me.


I don't think people can be naturally disciplined 100% every 7 days a week. There are certainly days of inspiration where we want to do nothing else but work, then there are days were we feel like crap and just want to do nothing, we are human after all with emotions not robots. I think most is learned while you are younger, it is just a lot easier if a child is brought up with concept of discipline, not doing things only when you feel like it and accept sometimes work is not so convenient. An old dog can still learn new tricks and even adults who live a chaotic life can impose some kind of discipline in their life and then once they honestly meet with it it can make a lot of changes not only in piano but other areas of life.

Sometimes on days were I feel so unmotivated to physically play the piano I will work on other things which doesn't require me to play, such as exploring repertoire, organising my work space etc etc. So long it has something to do with my music. Sometimes just watching a movie about music, or going to art gallery, watching the symphony orchestra live, going to watch some buskers etc, all of this renews my motivational energy to do music.

Piano can be such a solitary pastime, it is actually nice to join in with groups of people who like music, meet occasionally and be a part of a community. This I have found inspired me a huge amount to learn more doing music outside of the work space (teaching and my own study) when you have a community to connect with. There are networking websites (such as https://www.meetup.com) which encourage people to meet up with others in person which I found awesome too.


Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
LostinidleWonder, I also want to thank you for posting the link to the PianoStreet thread Four Thinking Styles of Perception/Process where I have found a lot to reflect on, from many angles, about teaching and learning

I found it insightful also when I first came across it also! I think it gives us more insight into the workings of thought and gives us some tools that can help on our way to analyze the way our students work.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 04:39 AM

Originally Posted by outo
I think posts like the OP are wasted on this forum where many (not all) teachers seem to come to vent their frustrations only or seek validation to their personal image as great teachers who know everything, have nothing to learn and who are forced to teach students that simply are too lazy, too stubborn or too stupid to learn...or have uncooperative parents...or whatever. The idea that there may be ways that might get better results with challenging students or that research in human fields could bring any useful new knowledge to teaching does not fit well with this kind of mindset.

On the other hand intelligent mature discussions is not what Internet forums are known for, so posting such essays will inevitably lead into trashing and cynicism.

You have a point, the internet is like that, a minority talk very loud and band together and feel as if they are a part of a greater majority. The reality is that these people who complain on the sidelines and try to tear down knowledge are merely a marginalized few. There are a much higher % of people who do not comment on threads at all and just read, these are the people that I also am writing for since it is the majority of our audience. There are those who want to take time to read through a lot of information and learn from it or compare it to the way in which they do things themselves. That is why I write a lot so that people who do not comment in these threads perhaps have most of their queries answered. I've been on the internet far too long to allow peoples attempts at bullying hurt me at all, it is quite funny when it is dished out at me but a waste of time. It is also sad that these kind of people actually make others not want to contribute because they could not manage the bullying, I am sure people here know those that they are driven out, unfortunately for them they will not have the same effect on me :P So bring it! :P
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 04:41 AM

Originally Posted by malkin
If measured by words/post I'm sure this thread would already be a contender.

Have a look at my responses on pianostreet you might like to see I have done some 15 years of mostly long posts :P Wow I must have written more than anyone one else in the history of the internet!!!!! lol.
Posted By: Dr. Rogers

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 01:16 PM

Moderators, would it be possible to get a forum ONLY for piano teachers, with some sort of validation process?
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 01:45 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I could say I am shocked that this thread is still going but I'm not, lol.

Only 346 posts to go to break the record set 10 years ago for longest thread in Piano Teachers Forum. What do you say? Shall we make a run for it?


I'm game! I'm sure we can find a way to further degrade this thread. laugh
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 01:46 PM

Originally Posted by malkin
If measured by words/post I'm sure this thread would already be a contender.

LOL, you never fail to disappoint, malkin. smile
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 01:52 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I am a piano student, not a piano teacher. However I have other topics I teach occasionally and I am very interested in ideas about teaching.

LostinidleWonder, I found your description of entering into the point of view of your autistic student to be very moving.

I found your description of ways of thinking/processing to be useful to me, because I recognized a lot about myself in the description of an abstract thinker. It leads me to think about trying to escape my usual abstract filter in certain activities I do, and see what happens if I try to immerse myself in the sensation of the experience instead.

That is what is good about forums that we can share knowledge and help others grow as well as get various perspectives from others experiences.[...]

Seriously, it's fine if you want to write such long posts, but there is a common thing called "TL;DR" - too long, didn't read - where you summarize in a few short sentences for those who don't wish to wade through everything. Having this is respectful of people's time and attention spans. Just a suggestion.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I am a piano student, not a piano teacher. However I have other topics I teach occasionally and I am very interested in ideas about teaching.

LostinidleWonder, I found your description of entering into the point of view of your autistic student to be very moving.

I found your description of ways of thinking/processing to be useful to me, because I recognized a lot about myself in the description of an abstract thinker. It leads me to think about trying to escape my usual abstract filter in certain activities I do, and see what happens if I try to immerse myself in the sensation of the experience instead.

That is what is good about forums that we can share knowledge and help others grow as well as get various perspectives from others experiences.[...]

Seriously, it's fine if you want to write such long posts, but there is a common thing called "TL;DR" - too long, didn't read - where you summarize in a few short sentences for those who don't wish to wade through everything. Having this is respectful of people's time and attention spans. Just a suggestion.

I don't write for the intention for interesting people who only want to read short responses, I am not one to follow fashions either, I do what I do I don't copy others just to fit in. I am a dissident and this goes hand in hand with my creativity. I could now respond with 10+ paragraphs on the connecton between dissidence and creativity but I will spare you. You're welcome lol.
Posted By: outo

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 02:54 PM

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I am a piano student, not a piano teacher. However I have other topics I teach occasionally and I am very interested in ideas about teaching.

LostinidleWonder, I found your description of entering into the point of view of your autistic student to be very moving.

I found your description of ways of thinking/processing to be useful to me, because I recognized a lot about myself in the description of an abstract thinker. It leads me to think about trying to escape my usual abstract filter in certain activities I do, and see what happens if I try to immerse myself in the sensation of the experience instead.

That is what is good about forums that we can share knowledge and help others grow as well as get various perspectives from others experiences.[...]

Seriously, it's fine if you want to write such long posts, but there is a common thing called "TL;DR" - too long, didn't read - where you summarize in a few short sentences for those who don't wish to wade through everything. Having this is respectful of people's time and attention spans. Just a suggestion.

It is understandable, but on the other hand no-one is forced to read or comment on every thread are they? How mature is it to ridicule and be rude to a poster who writes seriously about his views even if one does not agree or understand them? I do not mean you obviously, but just look at some of the posts here. They have made the thread even longer without contributing nothing constructive.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 02:54 PM

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
I could say I am shocked that this thread is still going but I'm not, lol.

Only 346 posts to go to break the record set 10 years ago for longest thread in Piano Teachers Forum. What do you say? Shall we make a run for it?


I'm game! I'm sure we can find a way to further degrade this thread. laugh

Admiting to "degrade" threads, really that doesn't bid well for you as a contributer to pianoworld.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 03:01 PM

Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I am a piano student, not a piano teacher. However I have other topics I teach occasionally and I am very interested in ideas about teaching.

LostinidleWonder, I found your description of entering into the point of view of your autistic student to be very moving.

I found your description of ways of thinking/processing to be useful to me, because I recognized a lot about myself in the description of an abstract thinker. It leads me to think about trying to escape my usual abstract filter in certain activities I do, and see what happens if I try to immerse myself in the sensation of the experience instead.

That is what is good about forums that we can share knowledge and help others grow as well as get various perspectives from others experiences.[...]

Seriously, it's fine if you want to write such long posts, but there is a common thing called "TL;DR" - too long, didn't read - where you summarize in a few short sentences for those who don't wish to wade through everything. Having this is respectful of people's time and attention spans. Just a suggestion.

It is understandable, but on the other hand no-one is forced to read or comment on every thread are they? How mature is it to ridicule and be rude to a poster who writes seriously about his views even if one does not agree or understand them? I do not mean you obviously, but just look at some of the posts here. They have made the thread even longer without contributing nothing constructive.

I agree outo, it doens't bid well for these people who I assume are supposed to be teachers. What kind of teachers behave in this fashion? Ignoring the actual content of the work, crying about length of posts, trying to poke fun and joke around, quite immature. Their initial attempts to try and argue my work by contending with the actual infromation I have given were all responded to by me and further elaborated then I found because they have no idea how to continue the discussion or respond to my elaborations to still be heard they band together and play games kibitizng unconstructive remarks. At least I get to know who really is worth something here. Again it is the small minority which are loud and argumentative, the vast majority actually read intelligently and quietly and that is who I cater for more so though I am open to have serious discussion with anyone and I think I have shown that with anyone who has asked serious questions or shared interesting experiences.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 03:17 PM

Originally Posted by outo
I do not mean you obviously, but just look at some of the posts here. They have made the thread even longer without contributing nothing constructive.

Hey! I resemble that remark! I'm here to contribute a very useful count. 331 more posts to go before this thread breaks the Piano Teacher Forum record - currently 40th longest thread, and counting!grin

Gonna stick around for that.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 03:56 PM

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Seriously, it's fine if you want to write such long posts, but there is a common thing called "TL;DR" - too long, didn't read - where you summarize in a few short sentences for those who don't wish to wade through everything. Having this is respectful of people's time and attention spans. Just a suggestion.


Ah yes, TL/DR.


1. Editing and condensing a stream of consciousness style information dump can force one to focus, think clearly, and produce a better end product. (those of us who do church music certainly see the difference during the sermon!)

2. Making posts concise with clear points allows for reasoned response, which can also help the OP think through topics more deeply.

3. Is feedback about communication style so offensive? Nobody improves as a musician without some constructive feedback about how to do it better - why would someone utterly reject the same about their writing? I don't know anyone who's perfect at either.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 03:58 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
ey! I resemble that remark! I'm here to contribute a very useful count. 331 more posts to go before this thread breaks the Piano Teacher Forum record - currently 40th longest thread, and counting!grin

Gonna stick around for that.



We can ensure that, if we invite LiW's old nemesis nyiregyhazi back to the fold.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 04:03 PM

I thought I would share one way of building up and developing beginner,intermediate and some advanced students in terms of building practice craft. Essential it is to: "Learn as many easier pieces that can be learned fast without necessarily perfecting them rather than studying few pieces that are near the maximum playing potential and aiming to mastering them." This is separate from studying how to polish pieces to their highest potential which will be absent from the following.

The benefits is that students that go through a lot of works understand many examples of the learning procedure of a pieces from start to finish in quick time and develop good reading skills. They also understand the analysis that we go through to learn a piece and a layered approach to tackle difficult situations. Their skills to learn are built up, it is efficient and well practiced. Most importantly their practice method has had a large experience base to develop with and draw from. Naturally students with poor reading skills may have to start at a very low level which may be many times lower than their playing ability and this can be diffciult to deal with for the student.

It is not unusual with some of my diligent students who study practice craft intensely with me to study a hundred or so pieces a month, working the learning process quite hard. It is this action of taking a piece and learning it from scratch in quick time that is very useful when teaching students training practice craft. This of course requires that you choose a level of repertoire that they can grasp hold of quickly and often represents pieces many levels lower than their potential maximum playing ability. There has to be some kind of acceptable standard to the playing which is achieved fast and if you choose pieces that are not easy it will be will be very noticeable that this standard is not met rapidly.

Some teacher only give students pieces which take many weeks and even months to learn, pieces at near their maximum potential. Of course our hands are tied if a student must do examinations which expect us to jump through certain hoops, but outside of exams I would keep away from exclusively doing such things. It is ok to study more difficult projects that take a long time but the point is that it should not become the main focus or you risk becoming inefficient with your progress. One should make it a priority to sharpen practice method with numerous examples and importantly have a grasp of what the level is for pieces can be done quick and efficeintly. I let my students take on difficult projects that stretch their capabilities if they insist but encourage them to focus on smaller manageable pieces, the problem is that some are so obsessed over their big projects that they blind themselves from the fact they are burning away so much time learning things that are difficult for them and this should not be a main focus.

The empowerment is that the more "easy pieces" (pieces that can be completed rapidly with little challenges) you work through the higher the bar raises as to what is easy for your to learn. Some people approach this oppositely and do things much too difficult for them in hope that it raises the bar, this can however take uncontrolled extended periods of time which doesn't meet well with efficiency issues though of course it can be useful and act as a catalyst to ones progress but I feel it must have a connection to their easy base level to fully apprecaite that and should represent the majority of their study focus.

Some students tell me they are not interested in being able to approach music in this fashion and much prefer simply playing a small selection of pieces they like. I feel this is missing a bigger picture, they could play all the pieces in their list much faster and rapidly and explore even more works if they only built up towards it. So one needs to be careful in building them up to a point where they understand the benefits of studying many easy peices to raise the level of what is actually easy for them to learn.

I think it is challenging to build a bottom-up repertoire program that creates an efficient progress in a given student. You will find sometimes you push them too far with a given set of pieces and must abandon may of them it due to efficiency issues, sometimes you give pieces which are just too basic and offer nothing new, both of these are useful of course and none of this is wasted work but in terms of efficiency you want to find something that is easy but not too easy and which offers slight challenge which can be conquered efficiently. It is better to miss the mark and give works that are too easy rather than harder ones. Though you can mix up the groupings by giving pieces which are more challenging but insist that the students don't waste time trying to master trouble parts but just try to get their hands around them fast and even neglecting parts which pose as too difficult. You can get them to circle parts which are too difficult to learn in quick time and this can provide interesting analaysis in lesson as to why these parts are too hard. Some students have a very fast learning curve so the groups of pieces need to be more steeply progressive and then taper off as you reach saturation points in terms of their capability to complete the groups efficiently, others have a snail speed and thus the gradient of the difficult/time is much flatter.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 04:05 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
ey! I resemble that remark! I'm here to contribute a very useful count. 331 more posts to go before this thread breaks the Piano Teacher Forum record - currently 40th longest thread, and counting!grin

Gonna stick around for that.



We can ensure that, if we invite LiW's old nemesis nyiregyhazi back to the fold.

Don't you like the effect I have on people, I really get forums juices flowing smile

Poor nyir, he doesn't like interacting with me anymore, though the responses from some of you guys on this thread requires much less thought than what he had.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 06:53 PM

Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Moderators, would it be possible to get a forum ONLY for piano teachers, with some sort of validation process?

Well, I like the input from some parents and students.

People have the right to express themselves, even if it makes them look stupid, arrogant, and narcissistic. In fact, I am enjoying this train wreck.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 06:59 PM

Originally Posted by outo
How mature is it to ridicule and be rude to a poster who writes seriously about his views even if one does not agree or understand them?

Freedom of expression is a two-way street.
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 08:47 PM

Originally Posted by Morodiene
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I am a piano student, not a piano teacher. However I have other topics I teach occasionally and I am very interested in ideas about teaching.

LostinidleWonder, I found your description of entering into the point of view of your autistic student to be very moving.

I found your description of ways of thinking/processing to be useful to me, because I recognized a lot about myself in the description of an abstract thinker. It leads me to think about trying to escape my usual abstract filter in certain activities I do, and see what happens if I try to immerse myself in the sensation of the experience instead.

That is what is good about forums that we can share knowledge and help others grow as well as get various perspectives from others experiences.[...]

Seriously, it's fine if you want to write such long posts, but there is a common thing called "TL;DR" - too long, didn't read - where you summarize in a few short sentences for those who don't wish to wade through everything. Having this is respectful of people's time and attention spans. Just a suggestion.
.

TL:DR is a nice convention, but I don’t remember it being used on PW......., and there are many cases where it would be fitting.
Posted By: PianoStudent88

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 09:23 PM

LostinidleWonder, I am particularly struck in your recent posts by what you say about assigning tasks that a student can succeed at — just as they are, not as some idealized perfect-student version of themselves. I also like how you talk about repertoire and having an awareness of the kinds of skills each piece can be used to teach.

I’m intrigued by your 100+ pieces approach.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 10:19 PM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
]331 more posts to go before this thread breaks the Piano Teacher Forum record....

Please stop already.

Thank you.
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 10:23 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
331 more posts to go before this thread breaks the Piano Teacher Forum record....

Please stop already.

Thank you.

Why?

In a thread where insults seem to be the common currency, what I do is the mildest form of poking fun, not at the people, but the entire thread itself.

Don't take yourself so seriously. Seriously wink
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/10/19 11:22 PM

Catching up.

I looked at the two lists:
1) the one by Dilton: declarative statements, reflective restatements, prescriptions, "declarations of perplexity", "invitations to elaborate", "questions generated from other people", "deliberate silence".

2) the other written by a pair: "negligent supporter", "negative contributor", "dilatory grader", "feckless diagnosition etc." (types of teachers)

Dilton, is addressing group discussions in a high school setting, probably for academic subjects. "Analysis of teacher-student exchanges in high-school discussion classes .... " He seems to be an observing researcher rather than a practising teaching drawing on his experiences with students.

Since the other resource also seemed to reflect classroom practices, I realize that I have neglected to ask whether you teach in the classroom, or one-on-one?

Imagining that almost everyone here teaches piano, one-on-one, probably mostly younger students ---- while some of us might have a teaching background but be piano students, or just be piano students, taking one-on-one lessons ... looking at Dilton's examples:
Quote
1) Declarative statements: The teacher expresses points of view, thoughts, summary statements etc about a topic. Subject statements will often prompt students to express their own views.

In a piano lesson, will you be having "summary statements" about a topic, and is your goal to prompt students to say things about it? If so, in what kind of circumstance?
Quote
2) Reflective restatements: The teacher summarizes and reflects on what has been previously said. Such statements allow the teacher to focus on important aspects of content previously stated by students.

I do see this one, actually. I will sometimes restate what my teacher said, reflecting what I understood, to make sure I understood it. Sometimes I need to put it into my own words. Most often, the teacher wants to see his statement "reflected" through action - hands on the piano doing something. wink If a student says a thing, rather than the teacher "reacting", it may be good to reflect back, to make sure it was understood properly in the first place.

Actually that might be good in this thread, including when I have stated something and got a "reaction" above all.

Quote
3) Prescriptions: The teacher tells a student to contribute to the discussion (eg: "tell me what you think?")

Remember, all of this was set out for high school discussions. Does this have a place in a piano lesson, working on The Happy Farmer and whatever needs to be sussed out there?

Quote
4) Declarations of perplexity: Express concern or difficulty in finding a solution to a problem. This will often prompt the student to offer suggestions or solutions.

Important point. HONESTY. If you, as a teacher in a one-on-one relationship, pretend to be perplexed when you're not, then you're playing games and that is dishonest. If you want me to find a solution myself, say so. When I've worn the teacher hat, I've always been honest.
Quote
5) Invitations to elaborate: Invite the student to elaborate on statements made during the discussion. Students are often encouraged by such requests since in doing so the teacher is offering support to original statements made by the student.

This furthers a high school discussion. Do you want to "offer support to a statement" in one-on-one piano lessons?
Quote
6) Questions generated from other people: Ask the student to talk to their peers, friends or family about certain issues and come up with questions that they might be able to ask the teacher.

You might well got, "My aunt told me what you're teaching is all wrong. My neighbour says her teacher does it better than you." Piano teachers often pull their hair out at the interference they get in their teaching from outside. Do you want your student to "talk to peers, friends, or family" about piano study issues?
Quote
7) Deliberate silence: Silence will allow students an opportunity to reflect on subject matters. It is sometimes appropriate to have "think time" of silence at set intervals during discussion.

Maybe. In piano lessons we're not in "during discussion mode" - but there are moments during the lesson.

========================
The other - the "types of teachers".
My impression here was that this involved classroom teachers, teachers of academic subjects, and not piano teachers. I may be wrong.
Quote
- Negligent supporter:
Simply these teachers neglect to give students feedback and correctives. They are usually satisfied that they are able to explain subjects the first time and the students will absorb it all. After explaining or demonstrating they fail to check that the student has really understood the lesson. They do not allow much room if at all for questioning from the student during the lesson so there is little feedback and correctives being used.

Thinking that "explained / demonstrated once - it's understood" - yes, that can be a failing.

However, in a piano setting, aren't you finding out what the student has understood by observing how they play after the demonstration/explanation?

Quote
- Dilatory grader:
These teachers are so slow in assessing and returning results to students that the results and comments are of little help as feedback. Routine work tasks are rarely assessed on time and the students have to wait for knowledge of results on their learning process. Feedback is always so late that the students are unable to take advantage of the information when it is provided.


Does this occur in a piano teaching setting? "Assessing and returning results" sounds like classroom, academics, homework, study. In a private lesson, can you have a "dilatory grader"? Do you not have feedback during the lesson each time, maybe multiple times in a lesson.

Can "dilatory grading" happen in piano lessons?

Quote
- Feckless diagnostician and poor provider of correctives:
Unable to give appropriate correctives because of inadequate knowledge of the students learning problems. They do not attend to the details of the students responses and often fail to diagnose gaps in the students understanding of the subject matter. They are thus unable to provide the required correctives that will help students overcome their problems, or they are reluctant to modify their teaching methods so their corrective instruction can become effective.


This one probably applies. It goes with what I wrote about:
- see your student (know how to observe)
- have the knowledge to impart in the first place, and the teaching skills to do so.

That's what I seen in those lists.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 12:04 AM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

...I agree outo, it doens't bid well ...


I think you mean "...it doesn't bode well..."
https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/bode
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 03:29 AM

Keystring I have responded to a number of your questions in this thread already and got no response back, it seems as if you are merely thowing questions at me and not continuing on the discussion, that is fine but I would also like you to respond to my answers to you it may lead to further elaborations which are useful.

Originally Posted by keystring
Catching up.
I looked at the two lists:
1) the one by Dilton: declarative statements, reflective restatements, prescriptions, "declarations of perplexity", "invitations to elaborate", "questions generated from other people", "deliberate silence".

2) the other written by a pair: "negligent supporter", "negative contributor", "dilatory grader", "feckless diagnosition etc." (types of teachers)

Dilton, is addressing group discussions in a high school setting, probably for academic subjects. "Analysis of teacher-student exchanges in high-school discussion classes .... " He seems to be an observing researcher rather than a practising teaching drawing on his experiences with students.

Since the other resource also seemed to reflect classroom practices, I realize that I have neglected to ask whether you teach in the classroom, or one-on-one?

Of course it applies to one on one lessons as well, could you explain how there is a total separation between the two in this instance? A teacher teaching one on one lessons is a part of a large classroom but the students are isolated. So teachers are actually a part of a large classroom of many students even though the students are segregated thus there is a strong connection between the classroom setting and one on one lessons from the teachers perspective.

Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
1) Declarative statements: The teacher expresses points of view, thoughts, summary statements etc about a topic. Subject statements will often prompt students to express their own views.

In a piano lesson, will you be having "summary statements" about a topic, and is your goal to prompt students to say things about it? If so, in what kind of circumstance?

The exact circumstance you will be able to apply to your very own surely if you are teaching you can imagine situations where it can be done. This can usually be done at the end of studying a section or the end of the lesson where you recapitulate the main ideas that were covered in that day. If something particular was for example challenging for the student when you recap in a way which prompts them to respond by mentioning the experices we went through that were was challenging, you could also go though any other category other than "challenging" many will encourage feedback from the student. This way you can guage whether they have recognised the types of challenges within the lesson. If the student is not prompted to respond this can sometimes highlight that they need to be made more aware of the issues and their thoughts on it.


Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
2) Reflective restatements: The teacher summarizes and reflects on what has been previously said. Such statements allow the teacher to focus on important aspects of content previously stated by students.

I do see this one, actually. I will sometimes restate what my teacher said, reflecting what I understood, to make sure I understood it. Sometimes I need to put it into my own words. Most often, the teacher wants to see his statement "reflected" through action - hands on the piano doing something. wink If a student says a thing, rather than the teacher "reacting", it may be good to reflect back, to make sure it was understood properly in the first place.

Actually that might be good in this thread, including when I have stated something and got a "reaction" above all.

The key word in "reflective restatements" is that you are summarizing what the students have said about the content of the lesson rather than the teacher. So you are using the students very own words as a point of discussion. In the declarative statement, the teacher is prompting the student to make a realisation of the content then often this will lead to reflective restatement process.

Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
3) Prescriptions: The teacher tells a student to contribute to the discussion (eg: "tell me what you think?")

Remember, all of this was set out for high school discussions. Does this have a place in a piano lesson, working on The Happy Farmer and whatever needs to be sussed out there?

Again I don't understand your concern that this is meant only for a multiple student classroom situation and it is totally excluded from one on one lessons. When a teacher describes something to the student at the end of the description you can simply ask questions to get them to contribute to what was said. "What else do you think we could add? Tell me what you think? Do you feel that this is hard? Do you feel that this easy? Do you agree with this? How else do you think we could do this?" etc etc.

Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
4) Declarations of perplexity: Express concern or difficulty in finding a solution to a problem. This will often prompt the student to offer suggestions or solutions.

Important point. HONESTY. If you, as a teacher in a one-on-one relationship, pretend to be perplexed when you're not, then you're playing games and that is dishonest. If you want me to find a solution myself, say so. When I've worn the teacher hat, I've always been honest.

I think you are misunderstanding the way in which this is done. A student can know you are not actually perplexed at all but prompting them to give the solution. This works very well in many cases. For young children they like to be able to answer something that the teacher is pretending to not know the answer to, it is good fun for them if you have ever tried it. For older students they realize that you are challening them to answer in a playful manner, they also wont feel that you are being a know it all authoriarian and actually lowering yourself to their level and inviting to solve the problem with them at their level. There is nothing about being dishonest at all.

Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
5) Invitations to elaborate: Invite the student to elaborate on statements made during the discussion. Students are often encouraged by such requests since in doing so the teacher is offering support to original statements made by the student.

This furthers a high school discussion. Do you want to "offer support to a statement" in one-on-one piano lessons?

You can start a statement on something and pause and invite the student to continue. You can also explain something very simply and encourage the student to elaborate upon it. You can also say what other students you have come across mention and see what they think about it, if you have taught a particular subject many times you can draw upon statements from other students and see what they think about it and allow them to elaborate and present their ideology. So there is no separation betwen the classroom and one on one lesson because the teacher is a part of a large classroom dealing with isolated individuals.

Originally Posted by keystring


6) Questions generated from other people: Ask the student to talk to their peers, friends or family about certain issues and come up with questions that they might be able to ask the teacher. [/quote]
You might well got, "My aunt told me what you're teaching is all wrong. My neighbour says her teacher does it better than you." Piano teachers often pull their hair out at the interference they get in their teaching from outside. Do you want your student to "talk to peers, friends, or family" about piano study issues?
[/quote]
Certainly it is encouraged for them to discuss their lessons outside of the lesson environment. Many of my younger students work with their parents/guardians while practicing outside of the lessons and I encourage them to write down any concerns, challenges etc that they come up with during their discussions. I don't see how this would interfere with lessons, there is can always be a negotiation as to what is done in lessons anyway it doesn't have to be dictated by the teacher alone though we should have most say.

Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
7) Deliberate silence: Silence will allow students an opportunity to reflect on subject matters. It is sometimes appropriate to have "think time" of silence at set intervals during discussion.

Maybe. In piano lessons we're not in "during discussion mode" - but there are moments during the lesson.

Deliberate silence is a handy tool to use after something deep or very important has been said, it allows them time to absorb or prompts them to realize what has been said should be considered closely. I can sometimes ask a question and ask them to think about it for a while before responding, this will require deliberate silence while they process their answer. Thinking deeply before they speak requires that extended silence and should be encouraged.

Originally Posted by keystring

========================
The other - the "types of teachers".
My impression here was that this involved classroom teachers, teachers of academic subjects, and not piano teachers. I may be wrong.

Yes I feel your isolation of the two is unfounded for.

Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
- Negligent supporter:
Simply these teachers neglect to give students feedback and correctives. They are usually satisfied that they are able to explain subjects the first time and the students will absorb it all. After explaining or demonstrating they fail to check that the student has really understood the lesson. They do not allow much room if at all for questioning from the student during the lesson so there is little feedback and correctives being used.

Thinking that "explained / demonstrated once - it's understood" - yes, that can be a failing.

However, in a piano setting, aren't you finding out what the student has understood by observing how they play after the demonstration/explanation?

Well these are examples of what not to do, so of course you may find objection into actually doing these kind of things. A negligent supporter will just demonstrate the correct manner and if the student says that they understand that is good enough for them, they don't test out whether the student really knows or not.

Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
- Dilatory grader:
These teachers are so slow in assessing and returning results to students that the results and comments are of little help as feedback. Routine work tasks are rarely assessed on time and the students have to wait for knowledge of results on their learning process. Feedback is always so late that the students are unable to take advantage of the information when it is provided.


Does this occur in a piano teaching setting? "Assessing and returning results" sounds like classroom, academics, homework, study. In a private lesson, can you have a "dilatory grader"? Do you not have feedback during the lesson each time, maybe multiple times in a lesson.

Can "dilatory grading" happen in piano lessons?

It sure can happen in piano lessons. You can give theory worksheets that are not reviewed early enough, you can also set them pieces to study and move onto something else without checking whether the work you set them in those pieces was done correctly or not until much later down the track when the student no longer is studying that piece in detail. You can set weekly goals for pieces and then not check if they were met or done appropriately during the next lesson.


Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
- Feckless diagnostician and poor provider of correctives:
Unable to give appropriate correctives because of inadequate knowledge of the students learning problems. They do not attend to the details of the students responses and often fail to diagnose gaps in the students understanding of the subject matter. They are thus unable to provide the required correctives that will help students overcome their problems, or they are reluctant to modify their teaching methods so their corrective instruction can become effective.


This one probably applies. It goes with what I wrote about:
- see your student (know how to observe)
- have the knowledge to impart in the first place, and the teaching skills to do so.

That's what I seen in those lists.

This hits at the heart of my "Always build up never break down", you need to get to know your student personally.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 03:36 AM

Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
LostinidleWonder, I am particularly struck in your recent posts by what you say about assigning tasks that a student can succeed at — just as they are, not as some idealized perfect-student version of themselves. I also like how you talk about repertoire and having an awareness of the kinds of skills each piece can be used to teach.

I’m intrigued by your 100+ pieces approach.

Thanks pianostudent88. The 100 piece approach is an excellent way to develop practice craft and forces teachers to give pieces which are easy for the students, this requires that you know closely exactly how your student functions. To be able to do works which you can succeed at in quick time is empowering for students and it is a very nice environment to build skills up without being slowed down by by frustrations. Of course we must ensure that it is not totally easy sailing there does have to be a little bit of challenge here and there but not so much so that it slows them down, they have to complete their pieces fast that is key to this method of building up practice craft. It also encourages reading skills and not so much memory work though of course good reading skills is a uses memory (eg: observing patterns that has been done many times before). If we are to memorize everything then doing this kind of work is not possible in almost all cases.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 05:59 AM

Perhaps one of the piano teachers here can explain the difference between leading a high school discussion, and teaching piano playing to a young child, and why there might be a difference. I won't say I haven't succeeded in doing so because I didn't try, as it seemed a given, but I might have been wrong.

Quote
Keystring I have responded to a number of your questions in this thread already and got no response back...

I haven't as a rule asked questions, though there might have been one or two here there. For those with responses, if comprehensible, I probably did respond. But generally I wrote statements and ideas. They were not questions. My last post did not consist of questions. In a discussion forum, it is usually a matter of exchange of ideas.

In the responses to those lists that I explored, some of the teachers here may have thoughts. I am short on time at present.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 07:23 AM

That may have come out wrong, but I must admit that I was a bit surprised. If suggestions are made for conducting group discussions, I see this different from teaching a student an activity such as piano playing in a private one-on-one setting. I was surprised, if I understood it right, if that were seen as the same.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 11:01 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
That may have come out wrong, but I must admit that I was a bit surprised. If suggestions are made for conducting group discussions, I see this different from teaching a student an activity such as piano playing in a private one-on-one setting. I was surprised, if I understood it right, if that were seen as the same.


Excellent analysis keystring (on your long post-by post-response and here.)

One of my objections to long posts is that they tend to become a lecture rather than a conversation. I'm here for conversation - if I want a lecture there's always Coursera. Thank you for showing that it's possible with long posts, provided time and patience exist. It appears to me that his response to each of your points was simply "no you're wrong."

I see a distinct difference between a one-to-one interaction teaching a six year old a physical skill, whether it's piano or soccer, and a classroom setting focused on intellectual concepts. It seems to me that LiWs exposition and his quotes from that text have little application to the former.

There are some points that seem valid to me that might be within the original post, and others I would disagree with. I've hesitated to address them because for one, it didn't seem a conversation, and for another, his writing style makes me unsure whether he really said it.

So I'll go on to attempt to summarize, knowing this may have little to do with what his post really said.

1. A teacher should never be abusive; the old style of a demanding and harsh teacher as exemplified in the movie is not what we should do today, though it did produce some virtuoso players.

I think we'd all agree with that.

2. A teacher should always start where the student is and build from there. (Norm Bolter of Boston Symphony fame in his lectures often said "start with what they CAN do.")

I think we would not all agree with that. Many students in any physical skill have developed such bad habits the only way forward is to start all over from scratch. They need to be "smashed." Others may have some sound fundamentals and are able to be tweaked/shaped into better performance.

3. A teacher should adapt his communication style to the student's, and the way to do this is by analysis of student types according to a formal intellectual schema.

I think we would agree there is some merit to being attentive to the student's style of communicating. I do not see the value in these overly complicated systems with a young beginner learning a physical skill. Staying focused "in real time" and realizing when a student is understanding is not improved by that; in fact it is a distraction. If you insist on that type of intellectual analysis, the way to do it is to video your teaching session and review it later, using the results to improve how you communicate. (Just using less words is likely to be the first result of that!) Actually it would be extremely useful if LiW would provide a video of one of his lessons, demonstrating what he means.

4. A teacher should adapt his teaching style to the learning style of the student. Students are broadly divided (on a continuum) from goal oriented inner tennis intuitive types to mechanics oriented analytical intellectual types, and so are teachers. Some skills are better learned one way or the other; some students are flexible and others hardwired into a style.

I don't think we would have general agreement on this point and it may not exist within the OP's lecture. It probably applies less to piano than many other musical or athletic skills, at least a beginner level. For me personally it has been important, both as a student and when teaching.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 12:41 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
Perhaps one of the piano teachers here can explain the difference between leading a high school discussion, and teaching piano playing to a young child, and why there might be a difference. I won't say I haven't succeeded in doing so because I didn't try, as it seemed a given, but I might have been wrong.

I already responded how it is bound together but it seems you have missed that and not responded to it. Let me paste it for you:

"A teacher teaching one on one lessons is a part of a large classroom but the students are isolated. So teachers are actually a part of a large classroom of many students even though the students are segregated thus there is a strong connection between the classroom setting and one on one lessons from the teachers perspective."

I also gave more examples how things you thought were exclusively for a multi student classroom setting could be used in a one on one lesson but you didn't respond to them.

Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
Keystring I have responded to a number of your questions in this thread already and got no response back...

I haven't as a rule asked questions, though there might have been one or two here there. For those with responses, if comprehensible, I probably did respond. But generally I wrote statements and ideas. They were not questions. My last post did not consist of questions. In a discussion forum, it is usually a matter of exchange of ideas.

They were questions in the manner that they opposed some ideas that I wrote and criticised their purpose or use, I responded with elaborations and got no more response from you. Instead I got a new wave of postulations which are critiquing what was written which I again have responded to but it seems like there is no response again. So I am wondering if you just want to oppose ideas (put them to question) with your thoughts and leave it as that.

You also wrote a few clear questions here:

"In this thread there is a student whose entire playing was dismantled completely, who could then not apply to college, and who spend several decades not playing. Are there no thoughts about this? Should "defective" (real or imagined) playing be dismantled like that? Are there alternatives? Have people experienced variations and choices in this?"

I pointed out that I responded to this poster and a couple of times now and answered a number of issues but there has been no further response from you after asking questions about this.

Not that it really matters really but I am just wondering if you want to pose question to what is written and not continue the disucssion after I have elaborated just so I know what you want from these kind of discussions.

Originally Posted by keystring
That may have come out wrong, but I must admit that I was a bit surprised.

Surprisd about what exactly?

Originally Posted by keystring
If suggestions are made for conducting group discussions, I see this different from teaching a student an activity such as piano playing in a private one-on-one setting. I was surprised, if I understood it right, if that were seen as the same.

Suggestions I made were intended for one on one lessons and I emphasised that further after you suggested that they were meant for multi student classroom settings exclusively.


Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 12:45 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by keystring
That may have come out wrong, but I must admit that I was a bit surprised. If suggestions are made for conducting group discussions, I see this different from teaching a student an activity such as piano playing in a private one-on-one setting. I was surprised, if I understood it right, if that were seen as the same.


Excellent analysis keystring (on your long post-by post-response and here.)

One of my objections to long posts is that they tend to become a lecture rather than a conversation. I'm here for conversation - if I want a lecture there's always Coursera. Thank you for showing that it's possible with long posts, provided time and patience exist. It appears to me that his response to each of your points was simply "no you're wrong."

I see a distinct difference between a one-to-one interaction teaching a six year old a physical skill, whether it's piano or soccer, and a classroom setting focused on intellectual concepts. It seems to me that LiWs exposition and his quotes from that text have little application to the former.

There are some points that seem valid to me that might be within the original post, and others I would disagree with. I've hesitated to address them because for one, it didn't seem a conversation, and for another, his writing style makes me unsure whether he really said it.

So I'll go on to attempt to summarize, knowing this may have little to do with what his post really said.

1. A teacher should never be abusive; the old style of a demanding and harsh teacher as exemplified in the movie is not what we should do today, though it did produce some virtuoso players.

I think we'd all agree with that.

2. A teacher should always start where the student is and build from there. (Norm Bolter of Boston Symphony fame in his lectures often said "start with what they CAN do.")

I think we would not all agree with that. Many students in any physical skill have developed such bad habits the only way forward is to start all over from scratch. They need to be "smashed." Others may have some sound fundamentals and are able to be tweaked/shaped into better performance.

3. A teacher should adapt his communication style to the student's, and the way to do this is by analysis of student types according to a formal intellectual schema.

I think we would agree there is some merit to being attentive to the student's style of communicating. I do not see the value in these overly complicated systems with a young beginner learning a physical skill. Staying focused "in real time" and realizing when a student is understanding is not improved by that; in fact it is a distraction. If you insist on that type of intellectual analysis, the way to do it is to video your teaching session and review it later, using the results to improve how you communicate. (Just using less words is likely to be the first result of that!) Actually it would be extremely useful if LiW would provide a video of one of his lessons, demonstrating what he means.

4. A teacher should adapt his teaching style to the learning style of the student. Students are broadly divided (on a continuum) from goal oriented inner tennis intuitive types to mechanics oriented analytical intellectual types, and so are teachers. Some skills are better learned one way or the other; some students are flexible and others hardwired into a style.

I don't think we would have general agreement on this point and it may not exist within the OP's lecture. It probably applies less to piano than many other musical or athletic skills, at least a beginner level. For me personally it has been important, both as a student and when teaching.

The body of keystrings reply to me was that the much of what I wrote was meant more for a multi student classroom than a one on one lesson which is why I defined why it can be used for one on one lessons, it is not me saying YOU ARE WRONG as you are trying to make it look out to be.

Do you notice TimR that it is so easy to write out lists but then look at your comments on those lists, for instance the one from number 3 is like 4 times longer than the summarized point and still could dig deeper to support your stance and explain the "why" not just the "what". So just writing a list is useless because it doesn't define anything at all in a comprehensive manner, thus why I write a lot to answer questions and dig deeper into the issue. Just writing a summary without defining generalized terms doesn't provide much food for thought, certainly not on the deeper issues which are of more interest for teachers who know the basics quite well already. We want the deeper meanings. Sure some may be satisfied with small answers and not interested in the rabbit hole of knowledge that leads from that, thats fine, but we should allow freedom for those who want to go as deep as they like.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 02:26 PM

I took the time to examine the points as they occurred in the source, and also the context in which those points were made. I doubt that anyone else bothered to do so - mostly because of a probable disinterested, and that due to an early alienation. When considering advice from any outside source, one should know more about this advice. If you study a book, and you have knowledge of your own field, you will understand it as a whole and know how you want to apply it. If otoh a group of strangers is given a list,and they don't have any context, it is harder for this to happen. So I did the research, which was also for my own sake. From the start it felt off, because it felt like something designed for group and academic instruction. It turned out to be so. For the group, for all of us, the context is important to know.

The one list was generated from aims to foster better group discussions among high school students, created by a researcher.

This is important to know. It is not some trivial side fact such as "the writer has blue eyes". If a teacher of private music lessons is considering these points and knows their original context, he'll have to say "Ok, this is for something totally different. But can I adapt some of these ideas? Which can still apply to my own teaching scenario, and which don't?" "Which of these things are too far removed from my reality?" The fact that the list was designed by a researcher for the purpose of facilitating group discussions among teens needs to be known.

I was exasperated when this seemed glossed over, seemingly trivialized as not mattering at all. I asked the other teachers for help in maybe explaining the point. Yes, I read the comment about the sameness of classroom and private teaching. That is what elicited that short post of mine. I wanted someone else to explain how fostering high school group discussions is different from teaching music to a young individual in a private lesson. I addressed this to the other members, for their views.

-------
One impression that is crystalizing is that maybe this is not being conducted like a group discussion ---- this being where there is an exchange of ideas among participants, new ideas being welcome and entertained, the flow of conversation being multi-directional. I'm picturing another model at this moment. A lecture by an expert professor. He has the knowledge to impart to the students in the lecture hall. Anything coming from them should be questions for clarification on his points, but his actual points are what he is teaching, and they stand firm. The students do not have ideas to contribute; they have the status of student. If I, and all of us, took on the roles of students in a lecture by an expert with knowledge that we are expected to absorb, I have a feeling that this thread would then run smoothly as intended. I don't know if I'm right, but that's a picture that has popped up. Everyone here seems to be groping with the message in each of those posts so maybe it's ok to grope.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 02:43 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
The body of keystrings reply to me was that the much of what I wrote was meant more for a multi student classroom than a one on one lesson .............


No, a main point in my post to the group was to be sure to know the nature of the original list, so that we know what we're examining. It is also not what you wrote, but what the author wrote. The author is a researcher who was proposing ways to improve group discussions in a high school settings. We need to know that in order to get any kind of perspective on that list.

For anyone in the group that is important information when considering these things.

When considering anything that a person proposes, one must know something about where those ideas are coming from, the context; the individual's background has a bearing - and then we can have a proper picture of the idea. THEN you decided whether and how you might adapt those ideas, after understanding them.

If someone has tried to solve a problem, and is proposing solutions, if you're solving the same problem and you're a novice, if the person and his ideas seem trustworthy, you may adopt the ideas "as is". If as a novice you come across someone's solutions, where that person is solving a different problem in a different context, then adopting his ideas "as is" will be wrong. (If experienced, you'll know it's wrong, and you also have the facility to adapt vs. adopt). Knowing the background of solutions someone has found is a crucial thing to do - especially when picking up things on the Internet.

That was the reasoning in my post.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 03:14 PM

On this one, which was highlighted later and pointed out to me:
Originally Posted by LostinIdleWonder
Of course it applies to one on one lessons as well, could you explain how there is a total separation between the two in this instance? A teacher teaching one on one lessons is a part of a large classroom but the students are isolated. So teachers are actually a part of a large classroom of many students even though the students are segregated thus there is a strong connection between the classroom setting and one on one lessons from the teachers perspective.


This came directly after my intro, where summarized what I found about the contexts of the two separately quoted sources. It was a context to be kept in mind for exploring each of the points that followed. A thing gets defined in the intro., so that there is clarity as the body of the posts unfolds. It's a rather classical format.

I will not explain about "total separation" because I did not postulate anything about "separation". I postulated absolutely nothing. I simply brought out the facts, so that we know what we're dealing with. The first of the two I explored was a set of suggestions put forth by a researcher as to how to foster group discussions in high schools. The considerations of the context were then kept in mind via the various posts.

I also asked you whether you taught one-on-one, in the classroom, or both. Knowing this would facilitate exploring the broader ideas.

At present, I can't quite engage in what you quoted and want me to respond to. I actually find it rather vague and thus difficult to understand. This:
Quote
... So teachers are actually a part of a large classroom of many students even though the students are segregated thus there is a strong connection between the classroom setting and one on one lessons from the teachers perspective.

is sort of swimming around; the words make sense grammatically, the connection between the two sentences is there, but from a teaching perspective I'm lost, as it is too vague.

I have taught one-on-one, as well as teaching in the classroom for which I received professional training, internship and the rest, and have also been a private music student. Some things off the top of my head:

- In a classroom setting, while we were advised to mingle and interact one-on-one "as much as possible" with every student every day (that is in fact close to an impossibility with 30+ young students), mostly we found ourselves addressing a group. If I work one-on-one with a student, I can see comprehension in the student's eyes, actions, body language, and it is rather immediate. "Assessment" is continual and on the spot. In the classroom, tests and homework are a major means of assessing. It is more distant, less interpersonal. One-on-one, I can adjust what I'm teaching on the spot, based on what I'm seeing as we interact. My assignments and plans for next week may alter due to this interaction. In the classroom, there is a master lesson plan for the group as a whole, usually in "modules" broken into a series of lesson plans. A good teacher will try to build flexibility into the teaching plans, but it is still limited compared to what I've written about the private lesson. If government interferes through external policies such as testing and such, the teacher's ability to teach responsively may become even more limited in public institutions.

The two scenarios will have different challenges, and be different in a lot of ways. Someone dealing with the scenario of fostering group discussions among adolescents, or dealing with classroom teaching, will be addressing challenges unique to those scenarios. However, there will also be things one can adapt directly or indirectly from those solutions or observations. With that I agree. I would want to sort this factor out, however. And so I did.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 03:17 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
The body of keystrings reply to me was that the much of what I wrote was meant more for a multi student classroom than a one on one lesson .............


No, a main point in my post to the group was to be sure to know the nature of the original list, so that we know what we're examining. It is also not what you wrote, but what the author wrote.

I elaborated upon them so I did write about them especially when you suggested they were only for group lessons and was not sure how it applied to one on one students, I also mentioned the source so I didn't suggest that I WROTE IT ALL.

Originally Posted by keystring

The author is a researcher who was proposing ways to improve group discussions in a high school settings. We need to know that in order to get any kind of perspective on that list.

That is not relevant to what we are writing about though to apply it to our single students, unless teachers here are teaching classrooms, but importantly I wanted to relate it to how we deal with our one on one students. You seem to think that because the source studied with multiplle student classrooms that it must be difficult or there must be some inability to apply it to one on one students which I have not see you support yourself on this ideology.

Originally Posted by keystring

When considering anything that a person proposes, one must know something about where those ideas are coming from, the context; the individual's background has a bearing - and then we can have a proper picture of the idea. THEN you decided whether and how you might adapt those ideas, after understanding them.

Which is fine that is what we are doing, we are elaborating how it is useful for one on one lessons, the fact that it was created with classroom teachers in mind does not orphan its useage for private piano lesson lesson which involve predominantly one on one students.

Originally Posted by keystring

If someone has tried to solve a problem, and is proposing solutions, if you're solving the same problem and you're a novice, if the person and his ideas seem trustworthy, you may adopt the ideas "as is". If as a novice you come across someone's solutions, where that person is solving a different problem in a different context, then adopting his ideas "as is" will be wrong. (If experienced, you'll know it's wrong, and you also have the facility to adapt vs. adopt). Knowing the background of solutions someone has found is a crucial thing to do - especially when picking up things on the Internet.

That was the reasoning in my post.

So explain how knowing the background is helpful? You merely pose question that because this was meant for classrooms that it cant possbilty be as important for one on one lessons, just look at your responses which criticise it. So what is your real point in bringing this up as a matter for discussion? How is expressing your inability to find how some of them apply to one on one lessons (even though I gave examples how they would apply which you still have not adressed) and saying we must look at the source and look that it was written for classroom situations, how is that helpful? Can you describe how it assists one on one lessons if you are trying to make it apply only to classroom situations?
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 03:27 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
So I did the research, which was also for my own sake. From the start it felt off, because it felt like something designed for group and academic instruction. It turned out to be so. For the group, for all of us, the context is important to know.

So I guess we have to believe you on this one? You read it, researched it and come to the conclusion that it is designed only for group and academic instruction and that there is absolutely no application to one on one piano lessons. That is quite a bad statement if you ask me since I have already shown how it applies to one on one lessons and others surely can can also connect to that and understand how to use it in one on one lessons that they give.

Originally Posted by keystring

If a teacher of private music lessons is considering these points and knows their original context, he'll have to say "Ok, this is for something totally different. But can I adapt some of these ideas? Which can still apply to my own teaching scenario, and which don't?" "Which of these things are too far removed from my reality?" The fact that the list was designed by a researcher for the purpose of facilitating group discussions among teens needs to be known.

You have not presented a clear idea as to why you think these skills are meant ONLY for group lessons and no one on earth possibly could fathom how to use it on one on one lessons. Don't you realize that even in classroom situations teachers deal with students one on one? Are you suggesting that there must be another book which deals with feedback that is meant only for one on one lesson? Please provide the source of this information and show how it is mutually exclusive or of great difference to the source I have given.

Originally Posted by keystring

I was exasperated when this seemed glossed over, seemingly trivialized as not mattering at all.

It certainly seem you are making a storm out of a tea cup, it seems you are unable to see past a small box you are stuck within, I have already elaborated how all of these apply to one on one lessons yet you are not willing to consider this and merely because the source has connection to classroom situation that there must be some fear that it is too difficult to apply to one on one lessons. This is ridiculous in my opinion.

Originally Posted by keystring

I asked the other teachers for help in maybe explaining the point. Yes, I read the comment about the sameness of classroom and private teaching. That is what elicited that short post of mine. I wanted someone else to explain how fostering high school group discussions is different from teaching music to a young individual in a private lesson. I addressed this to the other members, for their views.

I am offering tools that teacher smay use to deal with individual students, you however seem to want to pose question to it and make it seem like it is only for classroom situations which it isn't.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 03:49 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
On this one, which was highlighted later and pointed out to me:
Originally Posted by LostinIdleWonder
Of course it applies to one on one lessons as well, could you explain how there is a total separation between the two in this instance? A teacher teaching one on one lessons is a part of a large classroom but the students are isolated. So teachers are actually a part of a large classroom of many students even though the students are segregated thus there is a strong connection between the classroom setting and one on one lessons from the teachers perspective.


This came directly after my intro, where summarized what I found about the contexts of the two separately quoted sources. It was a context to be kept in mind for exploring each of the points that followed. A thing gets defined in the intro., so that there is clarity as the body of the posts unfolds. It's a rather classical format.

It came after your intro because I thought it was a rather obvious situation that did not require to be mentioned at all. You are making it seem that all these skills cannot be used in a one on one situation becasue all the students are not present, but the teacher of course in one on one lessons has many students that they deal with all the time so is able to bring forth opinions of others to their individual students and gain feedback from them.

Originally Posted by keystring

I will not explain about "total separation" because I did not postulate anything about "separation". I postulated absolutely nothing. I simply brought out the facts, so that we know what we're dealing with.

So you have no stance, you are merely a fence sitter, you find that the source was talking about classroom settings so you are going to run with that and say any attempt to make it fit with one on one lessons is ignoring the source. This is not the way a teacher should be thinking, and any teacher who has gone to university to study teaching will laugh at you for such attempts. Are you saying that a teacher who studies teaching at university to teach a classroom is totally not equiped to use the tools they learned for classroom to work for individual students in isolation? This is extremely far fetched. This is also why you don't see teaching degrees which separete individual teaching degree and classroom teaching degree they are both together and the skills are strongly interconnected.

Originally Posted by keystring

I also asked you whether you taught one-on-one, in the classroom, or both. Knowing this would facilitate exploring the broader ideas.

I've done both. How will this facilitate broader ideas? I have done both extensively though more one on one lessons, I see a connection between the two which is extremely strong, I use the techniques I have listed here in both situations just as easily. I don't see any relevance isolating the skills to one or the other, that is not what they are intended for otherwise there would have been disclaimers in these texts saying IT IS ONLY FOR CLASSROOM DONT DARE USE IT ELSEWHERE. lol

Originally Posted by keystring

At present, I can't quite engage in what you quoted and want me to respond to. I actually find it rather vague and thus difficult to understand. This:
Quote
... So teachers are actually a part of a large classroom of many students even though the students are segregated thus there is a strong connection between the classroom setting and one on one lessons from the teachers perspective.

is sort of swimming around; the words make sense grammatically, the connection between the two sentences is there, but from a teaching perspective I'm lost, as it is too vague.

How is this vague at all? Look at what you questioned.

5) Invitations to elaborate: Invite the student to elaborate on statements made during the discussion. Students are often encouraged by such requests since in doing so the teacher is offering support to original statements made by the student.

Keystring said: This furthers a high school discussion. Do you want to "offer support to a statement" in one-on-one piano lessons?

I responded: .......You can also say what other students you have come across mention and see what they think about it, if you have taught a particular subject many times you can draw upon statements from other students and see what they think about it and allow them to elaborate and present their ideology. So there is no separation betwen the classroom and one on one lesson because the teacher is a part of a large classroom dealing with isolated individuals.

So you still didn't get this so I reworded it again for you and now you say it is vague. How many different ways does it need to be said? You are trying to isolate it so it is exclusively a multi student classroom tool but it is not.

Originally Posted by keystring

- In a classroom setting, while we were advised to mingle and interact one-on-one "as much as possible" with every student every day (that is in fact close to an impossibility with 30+ young students), mostly we found ourselves addressing a group. If I work one-on-one with a student, I can see comprehension in the student's eyes, actions, body language, and it is rather immediate.

Maybe you should try to say something another student has said to you about a topic and see how another student reacts, there are situations where this may be useful as a means for feedback. I have already stated this possiblity several times to you now.

Originally Posted by keystring

In the classroom, tests and homework are a major means of assessing. It is more distant, less interpersonal. One-on-one, I can adjust what I'm teaching on the spot, based on what I'm seeing as we interact. My assignments and plans for next week may alter due to this interaction. In the classroom, there is a master lesson plan for the group as a whole, usually in "modules" broken into a series of lesson plans. A good teacher will try to build flexibility into the teaching plans, but it is still limited compared to what I've written about the private lesson. If government interferes through external policies such as testing and such, the teacher's ability to teach responsively may become even more limited in public institutions.

You didn't make it cleaer but I assume you are discussing the "Dilatory grader" commentary. I responded that in one on one lessons: "You can give theory worksheets that are not reviewed early enough, you can also set them pieces to study and move onto something else without checking whether the work you set them in those pieces was done correctly or not until much later down the track when the student no longer is studying that piece in detail. You can set weekly goals for pieces and then not check if they were met or done appropriately during the next lesson." This is an example of feedback from the teacher that should be avoided, you have not shown that the dangers of a dilatory grader is only a classroom setting problem and has no relevance to one on one lessons. I want to talk about one on one lessons more since that is what most teachers that teach piano deal with, if you want to bring this all towards a classroom type observation then you can of course start a thread on your own that does this.

Originally Posted by keystring

The two scenarios will have different challenges, and be different in a lot of ways. Someone dealing with the scenario of fostering group discussions among adolescents, or dealing with classroom teaching, will be addressing challenges unique to those scenarios. However, there will also be things one can adapt directly or indirectly from those solutions or observations. With that I agree. I would want to sort this factor out, however. And so I did.

I do not see a separation between the two, I am interested in applying the tools to one on one lessons and not focus on classroom situation, if you go ahead and show exaclty how both are used then you will see very little difference between the two, the difference will not be so much so that the tools are predominantly only useful for one or the other teaching environment.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 04:03 PM

Going to details of replies.

This one was in regard to the "summary statement" in the section of ideas by the researcher re: adolescent discussion groups.
Quote
This can usually be done at the end of studying a section or the end of the lesson where you recapitulate the main ideas that were covered in that day. If something particular was for example challenging for the student when you recap in a way which prompts them to respond by mentioning the experiences we went through that were was challenging, you could also go though any other category other than "challenging" many will encourage feedback from the student. This way you can gauge whether they have recognized the types of challenges within the lesson


There were a few other exchanges in regard to that researcher's ideas that went similarly so for the sake of space I'm only staying with this one. I see how you're applying it to private piano lessons.

The first thought I have is "what age?" In my own training in education, there were different ages needing different approaches. I specialized in the "formative years" and here you wanted to be rather concrete, not that abstract, and little bites rather than large chunks. An example we were given was: "take our your spellers" (pause while they do it), "and your note book" (pause), "open your speller to page 17" (make sure they've all found it) etc. -- concrete things more than abstract: pour water from glasses into a pitcher and draw pictures for teaching volume rather than just 100 ml. = 1 liter etc. - solids, liquids, gases; hotter expands - we made popcorn! laugh I'm seeing your scenario mostly for the older student than young ones, would that be right?

The other things were similar, probably because the context was "discussion groups", so verbal things. Piano teaching is only in part verbal.

Going on to the other resource, which felt more pertinent:
Quote
A negligent supporter will just demonstrate the correct manner and if the student says that they understand that is good enough for them, they don't test out whether the student really knows or not.

This immediately elicited questions about how piano teaching is actually done. I'd like to break this down a bit if you don't mind:

So teacher demonstrates "the correct manner". I got stuck on "student says they understand". My mind immediately went, "After the demonstration, isn't the next step that the student does what was demonstrated?" How did we get from "demonstrate" to "say"? This brought out several scenarios:

- you demonstrate. The student says nothing, but does what you have demonstrated. In the manner that the student does it, you as a teacher can see whether the student understood it.

- you demonstrate. You expect the student to practise this at home. You don't ask the student to do anything.

- you demonstrate. You ask the student if he understands, or ask him to verbalize what he understands Then the student plays, to show he understands.

- you demonstrate. You ask the student if he understands, or to verbalize what he understands. Then you assume he understood and that's that.

In my mind, only the 1st and 3rd example are "non-negligent" along this list.

This one was on "assessing and returning results"

Quote
It sure can happen in piano lessons. You can give theory worksheets that are not reviewed early enough, you can also set them pieces to study and move onto something else without checking whether the work you set them in those pieces was done correctly or not until much later down the track when the student no longer is studying that piece in detail. You can set weekly goals for pieces and then not check if they were met or done appropriately during the next lesson.


I had not thought of "theory worksheets" - this being more of an academic setting. In my mind, the first theory happens directly, getting inserted into the lesson itself. For example, as you start playing major or minor chords, that can be demonstrated in a simple way, so that later when a student gets "major / minor" in written theory, he associates it with something. But yes, definitely for theory.

The idea that a teacher would assign a piece, and then not hear that piece the next lesson, never occurred to me. In my mind, the assignments for practising and the hearing this in the next lesson are so integrally linked together, that I didn't picture this not happening. But I can see that it can and probably does.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 04:14 PM

Ok, I just saw the latest response to my post. There is an overall lack of comprehension most of the time, no possible communication. Other people have bowed out way before I have, probably for similar reasons. You are also going close to attack mode in some places, which I don't appreciate, with sarcasm and such. When a friendly and neutral conversation takes that kind of turn, with things understood who knows how, then it is time to bow out.

An observation here: Some of the points in the list had to do with ensuring comprehension, listening to the student and such. But if someone indicates that a thing is unclear and difficult to understand, the response is defensive and close to aggressive. This is certainly not what I expected, given everything.

What is clear is that there is a serious communication problem, where what I read cannot be understood, or gets understood to mean something else, and I don't think that this communication gap can be bridged. So regretfully, I am bowing out. I'm leaving the floor to anyone else who may feel like participating in this thread.

I'll leave up my last post, which was written in good faith, just because it was written. If it contributes anything positive, good. If not, oh well. smile

Best of luck.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 04:27 PM

Originally Posted by keystring

-------
One impression that is crystalizing is that maybe this is not being conducted like a group discussion ---- this being where there is an exchange of ideas among participants, new ideas being welcome and entertained, the flow of conversation being multi-directional. I'm picturing another model at this moment. A lecture by an expert professor. He has the knowledge to impart to the students in the lecture hall. Anything coming from them should be questions for clarification on his points, but his actual points are what he is teaching, and they stand firm. The students do not have ideas to contribute; they have the status of student.


I believe that is precisely the model being demonstrated. I had tried to move towards the conversation model but it appears futile.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 04:45 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
Ok, I just saw the latest response to my post. There is an overall lack of comprehension most of the time, no possible communication.

Why don't you quote exact parts where you think this is occuring? Words can often be left to misinterpretations perhaps if you highlight them I can elaborate and make myself better understood.

Originally Posted by keystring

Other people have bowed out way before I have, probably for similar reasons. You are also going close to attack mode in some places, which I don't appreciate, with sarcasm and such. When a friendly and neutral conversation takes that kind of turn, with things understood who knows how, then it is time to bow out.

Other do whatever they like let them, I have a strong opinion on what I wrote so it may seem like attacking but there is no tone of voice on the internet so best thing to do is quote passages you feel need further discussion. We have a lot of private messages to each other which is of a different nature so you should realize that when we are in public discussion we are only debating with what is being said not the person and it is not going to be be a debate especially if one side is trying to assume that content of the other is inappropriate for what they are suggesting (eg: you often suggest my posts on feedback and correctives mostly belong in a classroom and should not be considered for one on one lesson). So you will have me provoking you to make your stance better understood with further commentary on my thoughts of your posts.

Originally Posted by keystring

An observation here: Some of the points in the list had to do with ensuring comprehension, listening to the student and such. But if someone indicates that a thing is unclear and difficult to understand, the response is defensive and close to aggressive. This is certainly not what I expected, given everything.

So when you get the time quote me on all of this and lets discuss it, you will have to include the thread of discussion that lead up to the responses though, just taking things out of context just makes things messy.

Originally Posted by keystring

What is clear is that there is a serious communication problem, where what I read cannot be understood, or gets understood to mean something else, and I don't think that this communication gap can be bridged. So regretfully, I am bowing out. I'm leaving the floor to anyone else who may feel like participating in this thread.

Thats a shame but I can't force you into anything, perhaps you will change your mind later.

Originally Posted by keystring

I'll leave up my last post, which was written in good faith, just because it was written. If it contributes anything positive, good. If not, oh well. smile

Best of luck.

Well perhaps you can quote where you think I have treated you unfairly and perhaps then I can explain my stance on it again depending on what you think I missed. It is nothing personal.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 04:46 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by keystring

-------
One impression that is crystalizing is that maybe this is not being conducted like a group discussion ---- this being where there is an exchange of ideas among participants, new ideas being welcome and entertained, the flow of conversation being multi-directional. I'm picturing another model at this moment. A lecture by an expert professor. He has the knowledge to impart to the students in the lecture hall. Anything coming from them should be questions for clarification on his points, but his actual points are what he is teaching, and they stand firm. The students do not have ideas to contribute; they have the status of student.


I believe that is precisely the model being demonstrated. I had tried to move towards the conversation model but it appears futile.

You keep respond with critque about length of posts. I have already asked you to consider some points in my last repsonse to you before this one which you do not want to take up and discuss with me, that is your unwillingness to continue the conversation.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/11/19 05:32 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
Going to details of replies.
This one was in regard to the "summary statement" in the section of ideas by the researcher re: adolescent discussion groups.
Quote
This can usually be done at the end of studying a section or the end of the lesson where you recapitulate the main ideas that were covered in that day. If something particular was for example challenging for the student when you recap in a way which prompts them to respond by mentioning the experiences we went through that were was challenging, you could also go though any other category other than "challenging" many will encourage feedback from the student. This way you can gauge whether they have recognized the types of challenges within the lesson


There were a few other exchanges in regard to that researcher's ideas that went similarly so for the sake of space I'm only staying with this one.

I see how you're applying it to private piano lessons.
.......I'm seeing your scenario mostly for the older student than young ones, would that be right?

No, I don't see how this would be isolated only for older students.What is wrong with asking young students these kind of thing?

Here is a made up situation which actually happens a lot to me in lessons with young kids:

Teacher: "Wasn't that part x quite tricky today but you did well and got though it really well don't you think?"
[positive reenfocement and using declarative statement to focus students attention on an important issue and prompting them to give feedback on that key point of the lesson that was a challenge]

Young student: *gives a cheesy grin and kicks feet which are dangling from the piano stool
[this non verbal communication generally shows that they agree with what has been said, if there is no happy response then usually they don't know what you are talking about but is not enough in terms of feedback so you will need to prompt again.]

Teacher: "What was it that helped you get through it?"
[inviting elaboration on my declarative statement]

Young student: "I dont know. Are we finished with todays lesson?"
[Naturally some children want to avoid having to go through more work near end of lessons, not all will but I added this just because it happens a lot lol]

Teacher: Come on, what did we do when we faced this problem?"
[not accepting their laziness, prompting them again in a upbeat and happy manner]

Young student: We did *explains the process from their perspective in a flippant manner*

Teacher: So this part was a challenge because of (use part of their previous response) but what helped you get through it did we do something that really helped?
[restating the declarative statement connecting it to some of their feedback. Now what really had helped them in this lesson was mentioned a lot in during the lesson before this dialogue so I would expect if they payed attnetion in the lesson that they will know, if not I will prompt them or give hints until they say it, it is not like they are coming up with this all on the spot now, we actually solved it many times during the lesson*

Young student: * repeats the xxxxxx process in their own words with more consideration*
[teacher recieves the feedback appropriately in words]

Teacher: Ok how about you show me one... last.... time....how you did it?
[students feedback needs to one final time be demonstrated physically]

Young student: awww but the lessons finished after that ok?

Teacher: yep quickly show me then we can finish, pretend im not here do it all on your own, no help from me!
[Encourage once more that they can do this on their own when I am not around them, encoragement that they can practice this alone for the week, this also would have been done and the game of "pretend in not here" done before so they realize they can do this all on their own without me acting as their training wheels]

young student: demonstrates.
[the of declarative statment - gettting students feedback - getting students to demonstrate their knowledge on their own completes the goal that the information requested from the declarative statement needs]

This sort of situation above is something that I am not too unfarmilar with young students. I prompt feedback from them with my declarative statement, focus their attention on a key detail of our lesson for that day, search for feedback from them, then ask them to demonstate it one last time as a recap. Of course we would have done it well in the lesson but its always good to summarize it all so the student will know they can do it again on their own.


Originally Posted by keystring

The other things were similar, probably because the context was "discussion groups", so verbal things. Piano teaching is only in part verbal.

Part verbal part physical action, you can't have one without the other.

Originally Posted by keystring

Going on to the other resource, which felt more pertinent:
Quote
A negligent supporter will just demonstrate the correct manner and if the student says that they understand that is good enough for them, they don't test out whether the student really knows or not.

This immediately elicited questions about how piano teaching is actually done. I'd like to break this down a bit if you don't mind:

So teacher demonstrates "the correct manner". I got stuck on "student says they understand". My mind immediately went, "After the demonstration, isn't the next step that the student does what was demonstrated?" How did we get from "demonstrate" to "say"? This brought out several scenarios:

- you demonstrate. The student says nothing, but does what you have demonstrated. In the manner that the student does it, you as a teacher can see whether the student understood it.

- you demonstrate. You expect the student to practise this at home. You don't ask the student to do anything.

- you demonstrate. You ask the student if he understands, or ask him to verbalize what he understands Then the student plays, to show he understands.

- you demonstrate. You ask the student if he understands, or to verbalize what he understands. Then you assume he understood and that's that.

In my mind, only the 1st and 3rd example are "non-negligent" along this list.

This one was on "assessing and returning results"

1 and 3 seem to be the same thing though since in 3 you didn't specify if the student responded with words and merely played to show they understand, I guess you mean they verbalized and demonstrated where in 1 there is no verbal just demonstration. I still think 1 is a failure on the teachers behalf because they need the student someitmes to verbalize something they have done unless it is obviously very easy and has indeed been discussed before. But if it is a new skill learned the circle of verbalization and demonstration needs to be fulfiled.


Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
It sure can happen in piano lessons. You can give theory worksheets that are not reviewed early enough, you can also set them pieces to study and move onto something else without checking whether the work you set them in those pieces was done correctly or not until much later down the track when the student no longer is studying that piece in detail. You can set weekly goals for pieces and then not check if they were met or done appropriately during the next lesson.


I had not thought of "theory worksheets" - this being more of an academic setting. In my mind, the first theory happens directly, getting inserted into the lesson itself. For example, as you start playing major or minor chords, that can be demonstrated in a simple way, so that later when a student gets "major / minor" in written theory, he associates it with something. But yes, definitely for theory.

The idea that a teacher would assign a piece, and then not hear that piece the next lesson, never occurred to me. In my mind, the assignments for practising and the hearing this in the next lesson are so integrally linked together, that I didn't picture this not happening. But I can see that it can and probably does.


It also as I said relates to pieces that you have set them, the goals you have set them to accomplish, if you don't check they have done it this can be considered a "Dilatory grader".
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/12/19 03:31 AM

Thanks for trying, keystring, but I find that this game isn't worth the candle.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/12/19 03:42 AM

Just because people are not agreeing doesn't mean that the discussion isn't worth it. Some people seem to be so scared when these things happen. Having everyone agree does not always bring about the best results, testing one anothers position allows two sides of the story to be argued. What we don't need is useless kibitzing about issues which do not draw the thread into further discussion, but the internet is a place of anarchy you can't stop people who want to post with little thought.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/13/19 02:52 AM

I like to buy antiques, old music books are of particular interest to me, I purchased a book over 100 years old which I found quite interesting and wanted to share some of it with you all which I think is quite relevant even today as to how to build up a student.

TO THE TEACHER:
Every experienced teacher has doubtless endured the inevitable trials incident to teaching beginners, chief among which , perhaps, is the difficulty of inducing young pupils to raise and drop their fingers without sluggishness while their eyes are intent upon the music page.

Referring to this particular trial, a recent writing aptly says "I arrived at the conclusion that the pupil ought to be his own watchdog, as it were and see himself play, which is contrary to the universal dictum." And so the competent teacher of today wisely refrains from teaching the beginner to read music until a sufficient amount of prior practice by dictation shall have assured the proper position and movement of the arm, hand and fingers while the eyes are engaged by the music book. This method is well calculated to awaken early interest and to maintain it; for more so than the older custom of endeavoring to teach the proper use of the hands and finger and reading of notes simultaneously.

We assume that beginners in the profession of teaching music, have no prejudice in favor of the old way, will follow our suggestions without question; but some of the older teachers may hesitate to adopt a system so directly opposed to time-worn custom. To the latter we will simply say: Try it and let the results render a verdict.

We urgently recommend (unless the conditions positively forbid and especially if the pupil is very young) that daily half-hour lessons, or practice in the presence of the teacher, be insisted upon, at least during the first three months.

We also desire to impress upon the young teacher the great importance of encouraging, during the earlier stages of musical tuition, the habit of deep, serious thought and careful, critical listening. In other words, do your best to make the pupil use brain as well as hands.

By no means allow the pupil to ignore, in the slightest degree, the directions as to touch, in its varied forms and their applications; or to shrink the difficulties and drudgery of technical exercises, counting aloud, etc etc.

Encouraging the pupil to commit to play from memory all of the more important pieces. As a means to pomote this valuable acquirement, we have found that the following plan brings good results:

First call the pupil's attention to the general plan, form or noticeable features of the peice about to be played; then give warning that after playing the first three of four measures, you will cover the music and require them to play the passage from memory. It is astonishing how a frequent resort to this experiment will quicken the pupil's perception and promote the habit of closely scanning the music when played for the first time.

It may be almost superfluous to add that it is next to impossible to exaggerate the importance of a correct beginning.

Leading teachers now concede that a pupil can be properly taught musically and technically in such a way that much of the drudgery consequent upon old methods will be avoided, while at the same time more rapid progress will be attained; and this, too, while the studies, instead of being dry and uninteresting are made actually enjoyable.

Every effort should be made to awaken the musical instincts of the pupil. The successful teacher will know how to do this by numerous little methods which must be varied to suit the individuality of the pupil. Many players and singers are mechanical musicians because they have been taught too much mechanism and too little music. Care should be taken that the pupil's soul be not smothered in the drudgery of fingering exercises, however indispensable these may be in their proper place.

Music teachers, who are worthy of the name, make as much money by teaching as do the workers in any other profession. Many a business man does not clear as much money in a year as is earned by scores of hard working competent music teachers, and it is only the lazy, shiftless, incompetent, so called teachers of music who bring public odium on a comparatively lucrative profession. But the possession of talent is nothing unless it is accompanied by energy and industry which gives it a place in the busy world. It stands to reason, that, to secure success in life, the musician, whether teacher or artist, must cultivate the money earning talent like other men. Musicians must learn to take practical views of art life. Whether they are willing or not, the world will force them to learn the hard lesson of life.


TO THE PARENTS:
In the better class of public schools it is now the practice to teach children to read before they have learned the alphabet. A generation ago such a process would have been considered as evidence of insanity, which proves that we are progressing in our educational methods. If, therefore, the plan employed by music teachers of your selection shall prove to be a radical departure from the methods formerly in vogue, remember that this fact may be a strong recommendation of it.

If there be a choice of teachers, you will find that the best results will be attained by employing the most competent instructor; if possible, one of experience and established reputation.

Parents should willingly cooperate with the teacher in enforcing the observance of regular practice hours and doubtless would do so far more faithfully if they could realize how largely a pupil's success and advancement depends upon such parental cooperation.

With our modern system of teaching beginners, there is no reason why children in good health may not begin their musical studies at the age of six or seven years, especially if circumstances permit the pupil to take daily lessons, which should certainly be done at the outset, if possible.

It is a mistake to expect great results simply because a child displays unmistakable talent. Parents should remember that without the talent for hard work natural gifts are practically worthless.

Among other things that indicate the advisability of an early beginning, is the fact that school duties are likely to crowd hard after a child reaches the "teens" and later the demands of society are more or less exacting. Moreover, when children being early, music becomes a part of their school life; and, by the way, when the summer vacation comes let it be a vacation in music also.


1906, P . F Banes

extracted from: Cornish's Practical Instructor
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/13/19 12:02 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Just because people are not agreeing doesn't mean that the discussion isn't worth it. Some people seem to be so scared when these things happen. Having everyone agree does not always bring about the best results, testing one anothers position allows two sides of the story to be argued. What we don't need is useless kibitzing about issues which do not draw the thread into further discussion, but the internet is a place of anarchy you can't stop people who want to post with little thought.


I don't have a problem with disagreement.
I do find that the more the participants stray from the cooperative principle, the less effective the communication becomes.

https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/dravling/grice.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative_principle
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/13/19 12:23 PM

Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Just because people are not agreeing doesn't mean that the discussion isn't worth it. Some people seem to be so scared when these things happen. Having everyone agree does not always bring about the best results, testing one anothers position allows two sides of the story to be argued. What we don't need is useless kibitzing about issues which do not draw the thread into further discussion, but the internet is a place of anarchy you can't stop people who want to post with little thought.


I don't have a problem with disagreement.
I do find that the more the participants stray from the cooperative principle, the less effective the communication becomes.

https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/dravling/grice.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative_principle

thumb

I think all 4 of those maxims are important.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/13/19 12:42 PM

Thank you. I was not familiar with these, and they do seem explanatory and useful.

I notice a common conversation characteristic frequently that is related.

One person is speaking. The other person is paying limited attention, maybe 10% to 25% focused on the speaker, and the rest focused on formulating his rebuttal. I think we have examples of that in this thread, and perhaps in the imaginary vignette of teaching the child.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/13/19 01:06 PM

A general view:

In this teacher forum, by definition there are teachers.The nature of the work is that you tend to work in isolation. Each person therefore has the skills and knowledge one needs in this endeavour, and has then built up experiences, found solutions, has expanded what they originally knew, through their work. Some will know more than others. Many will know "differently" from others. Some participants who are not piano teachers may also have things of value to bring to the table. That's the first premise.

In PianoWorld there is a general atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation of one another. It is probably a hidden convention. Each person is aware that beyond his own view / knowledge / experience, everyone else has the same. Obviously a junior teacher in his first year of teaching will not have the same rich background as the senior teacher with 30 years .... but there will also be more than one such senior teacher, and some of the more junior may have more then their own share of wisdom. This absolutely must be kept in mind.

If you come here in the guise of a professor lecturing to students, where you possess all the knowledge and the wisdom of experience to assess it, while they have none, then you are out of sync with this forum,and with the nature of being among peers. If you have not grasped that ideas here are a thing to be examined from all angles, new ideas arising from them, but also other ideas and experiences joining in because of this rich mix of peers - then you have not grasped the essence of this place. If you are in a mindset of either being listened to and followed, or else debated ...... as though there were competitions or power struggles, then you're out of sync. This last view will also cause responses to be seen differently than they are, through the filter of debate, and re-interpreted that way. I've seen that happen, including in regard to some of my posts. It's the main reason why I stopped participating.

I have probably written in "longhand" what others have done through the word "co-operative".
Posted By: Tyrone Slothrop

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/13/19 01:52 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
I notice a common conversation characteristic frequently that is related.

One person is speaking. The other person is paying limited attention, maybe 10% to 25% focused on the speaker, and the rest focused on formulating his rebuttal. I think we have examples of that in this thread, and perhaps in the imaginary vignette of teaching the child.

I think not listening or partial listening can relate to the cooperative principles' maxim of quantity. People who don't listen or only partially listen sometimes either do not make their contribution as informative as is required for the current purposes of the exchange, or they make their contribution more informative than is required. Either case can be stated as "not address the point" or "not answering the question."
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/13/19 02:08 PM

Forums are allowed to have posts which just share knowledge. They don't all have to be conversations where the op and the rest are answering a single question. Surely the OP is allowed to start a thread with their professional experience in a topic and share knowledge without others feeling threatened or uncomfortable or or or *insert negative emotion*. Of course not everyone needs to be a part of a thread nor feel the need to control how it is presented by others. If I want to post something that shares some infromation I will, I don't necessarily require anyone to respond I am happy to simply share ideas and let the 98% of readers of this thread who don't write anything at all continue what they are doing. Only a very small % of people are actually interacting in threads, perhaps you guys should think about that, what about the others who are just reading? Surely they don't mind when others simply share knowedge.

I also interact with questions asked and elaborate where people ask me to elaborate, just go have a look at my interactions with others here. We may not agree but that doesn't matter. It seems that people are threatened that there may be others who actually know a lot about teaching as well, it's not a race, it's not a competition, unless you want it to be, then it's in your own head.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/13/19 02:11 PM

I take on any students no matter how good bad, disciplined or not. I feel I learn just as much about teaching no matter who I teach and also have just as much to offer anyone no matter what skill level in piano/discipline, everyone has something to teach me and something that intrigues me as a teacher.

I know some teachers who only take good students but I wonder if this really is beneficial for you as a teacher. Sure a disciplined student might do a lot correct but I can assure you you could find something that they are stubborn to change also. With undisciplined students it is just more obvious their failing but no more difficult to deal with. A teacher who deals with a lot of stubborn students who just don't practice enough learns tools how to break down that resistance and identify why it happens and then really make changes in their students. Some teachers think it is just about how well you play the piano and learn but it is more than that, the bigger picture is vision, goal setting, aspiring, motivation etc etc. It really has far reaching effects in their life beyond just piano but we can use piano as a wonderful medium to learn about life.

Teaching only the talented is a problem I think especially when it comes to reputable music schools or teachers who only accept those who audition the best out of the lot. They will only accept students who are very good to start with or show great potential. I can understand why they would want to do this it protects their image, to be known to produce only great musicians. Those who study with prestigious schools often are expected to complete their music degree within a particular time frame so there is pressure for growth, no different from any other degree (though some schools allow you to do a degree part time over a longer time frame). So many schools would argue that they only take the best students because lesser ones would not be able to meet the standards of their curriculum and because there is so much demand for places to study with them they can pick and choose the best.

I think of this all outside the box a little. I don't think that working with what you think are the best necessarily encompasses all the best there is about the service of teaching. To me the greatest schools would be those are those are willing to take on lesser musicians with good work ethic and make them into the best they can be. Sure a prestigious school need not deal with students who don't want to practice that is a bit ridiculous but I think that their teachers should have good experience with dealing with students who don't want to practice so they can know how to push their own highly talented students boundaries. If you can make someone who resists improvement better imagine what you can do with someone who always follows you all the way? I assure you most of the top professors of the best schools in the world would simply pull their hair out over a student who doesn't practice smile But what does that mean about how well they know human nature and what real change can make in the students they teach?

I hate the idea of prestigious schools and teachers who only take the talented, they protect their image that they produce only good musicians but in reality they only know how to choose good musicians (which is a billion times easier). It is a lazy way to maintain reputation, seriously I am amazed by teachers who successfully train the average student to a high level (or close to their potential), it is so obvious to me this is a much more impressive teaching feat.

From a teaching perspective if one knows how to motivate the undisciplined student and make real changes to their work ethic when dealing with a disciplined student who seriously wants to learn you can also make real changes in them too. The resistance for change is the same no matter what degree you are looking at, I find no difference in the beginner student who doesn't want to practice to the advanced piano student resisting changes to their musicianship. The problem I find with many well known teachers is that they merely trust their students will do everything they say, they don't know how to support that change, they believe if they make the student aware of it that is enough, it is not enough unfortunately as we are emotional humans who need all sorts of support. I noticed with my new transferred student the lack of "how to go about doing it" direction and simply a lot of "what to do" and in indifference if a student doesn't follow. Not good teaching IMO.

You can crush a students potential if you make them just feel failure for not following your directions instead we need constantly support their efforts through failure and puzzle out what is holding them back with them. I am a little unusual in the way that I am concerned if my students succeed with everything, it makes me think I am not pushing them enough or being too easy. In our lessons we don't learn as much from success but rather their challenges and difficulties. I find students make most change when things are a little challenging and not just a walk in the park. This kind of experience is not so obvious when you deal only with talented hard working students and I think is quite detrimental to the overall development and musical path that the teacher/student relationship will ultimately go through. My work is seriously cut out for me with these hard working talented students because I am trying to find what is their weak point. It is easy to spot an undisciplined students bad attitude towards practicing but severely difficult work to train that away, with talented students it is just the same though it may be tougher to spot their failings but it is no less difficult to make a change in them.

I like training discipline with youngsters, I like seeing them go from floundering about whenever they want to to taking an interest to become more organized. When I teach piano to early beginners it like teaching a very advanced student a difficult piece.... but sometimes even more challenging!! To teach an undisciplined beginner has got to be the most problematic student to deal with and to improve them certainly stretches the resource of any skilled teacher.

One might question what is the point in teaching such difficult students, those that don't seem to want to learn or practice on their own? First and foremost making changes in youngsters early on has far reaching effects to the rest of their life, I have seen several examples of this over the years personally, that is what excites me the most. I also believe that from these type of students I have learned the most about teaching, a great deal about balancing patience and pressure, not too much patience that you are too soft you will have zero result out of problematic students, but not so much pressure that you become some dictator figure that quashes all individuality. Those who are highly trained can hold close many ideas and are very unwilling to "sacrifice their babies" if you too don't make them feel comfortable about changing it. "Sugar catches more flies than vinegar" as the saying goes and in terms of teaching I think you need problematic students to be able to understand this through and through.

I like to get my students to be honest with themselves and that is not easier the better you get at music though many teachers simply don't care to test this in their students or not. The teachers themselves can be blind to the fact that all the information they pass to their student is going in one ear and out the other. They fool themselves in believing that just because it is covered in lesson it is now known. This is the assumption of mass classroom teaching all the time since there is no time to go to every student individually and ensure they fully know what has been taught. Students even become untruthful to themselves to such an extent that they believe they understand what has been taught just because it has gone through their head once or twice. I already wrote earlier about being honest which I think is quite important here too.

Teaching piano for me is not only about learning about music and how to play the piano but mastering oneself. It has a lot to do with attitude towards work, honesty and discipline as well and this to me has far reaching effects in students not only in the study of piano but life itself. Too many clever advanced students fool their teachers that all their attitude towards work, honesty and discipline is top notch, it is not, we are not perfect humans and we all need pressure to improve. A lazy teacher who has a highly talented student simply throws work at them and it all gets solved the teacher doesn't bother pushing the students boundaries in other areas because the music is just flowing out faster than the majority of their students. This is a disservice for the talented student imo, the teacher should be able to challenge them just like they challenge an undisciplined beginner to start practicing in a more consistent, structured manner.
Posted By: Morodiene

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 02:17 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
A general view:

In this teacher forum, by definition there are teachers.The nature of the work is that you tend to work in isolation. Each person therefore has the skills and knowledge one needs in this endeavour, and has then built up experiences, found solutions, has expanded what they originally knew, through their work. Some will know more than others. Many will know "differently" from others. Some participants who are not piano teachers may also have things of value to bring to the table. That's the first premise.

In PianoWorld there is a general atmosphere of mutual respect and appreciation of one another. It is probably a hidden convention. Each person is aware that beyond his own view / knowledge / experience, everyone else has the same. Obviously a junior teacher in his first year of teaching will not have the same rich background as the senior teacher with 30 years .... but there will also be more than one such senior teacher, and some of the more junior may have more then their own share of wisdom. This absolutely must be kept in mind.

If you come here in the guise of a professor lecturing to students, where you possess all the knowledge and the wisdom of experience to assess it, while they have none, then you are out of sync with this forum,and with the nature of being among peers. If you have not grasped that ideas here are a thing to be examined from all angles, new ideas arising from them, but also other ideas and experiences joining in because of this rich mix of peers - then you have not grasped the essence of this place. If you are in a mindset of either being listened to and followed, or else debated ...... as though there were competitions or power struggles, then you're out of sync. This last view will also cause responses to be seen differently than they are, through the filter of debate, and re-interpreted that way. I've seen that happen, including in regard to some of my posts. It's the main reason why I stopped participating.

I have probably written in "longhand" what others have done through the word "co-operative".

I think you've nailed it, keystring. And you've been a trooper in this thread.

I've been on other forums and each one has its own feel. I love PW because of the general respect people have for one another. It's something that is assumed, rather than some places where it's assumed you're an idiot until you prove yourself worthy of respect. Still, those forums have been helpful too because they are filled with professionals who are knowledgable. As long as you admit you're an idiot, they will actually engage you in discussion and realize that perhaps you're not an idiot, and suddenly you're pals.

However, if one such person came on here and didn't bother to see what kind of place this is, I think they'd put themselves in opposition to many people right out of the gate. I think that's what has happened here. Best not to assume the forum will adjust to you. It's fine to be non-conformist, but that also means you will find opposition in most places, and the thrust of your post will go unnoticed as a result. If the goal is to communicate, then communicate. That means being understood as much as it means divulging information.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 02:37 AM

How are you going to judge what goes unnoticed or not? Just because people respond this does not mean that things are being noticed, there are lots of people reading threads who do not post, that is the vast majority of users here.

I post inviting people to respond or not, the communication is left open for people to engage if they wish, nowhere have I stopped this from happening, if we disagree that is fine like I said there is no need to agree. So I have no idea why you guy are again posting irelevant issues in this thread, not that I mind, bump this up as much as you like. Cooperation is well encouraged, many of you who are asking for it here now are those who have posted unconstructive critique on this thread calling what I have posted all sorts of things, so perhaps it is good that coorperation is talked about now, lets see some action instead of just words now. Feel free to coorperate and discuss things about the content of the OP or other posts RELEVANT to it.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 02:46 AM

I certainly don't "hate the idea of prestigious schools and teachers who only take the talented..." because I enjoy the result. I enjoy listening to world class musicians just as I enjoy seeing the accomplishments of world class athletes.

I also firmly believe that chumps like me are entitled to enjoy making music and moving around in the world and playing games at our own level of clumsiness and incompetence.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 06:09 AM

Originally Posted by malkin
I certainly don't "hate the idea of prestigious schools and teachers who only take the talented..." because I enjoy the result. I enjoy listening to world class musicians just as I enjoy seeing the accomplishments of world class athletes.

I also firmly believe that chumps like me are entitled to enjoy making music and moving around in the world and playing games at our own level of clumsiness and incompetence.

I can see that there is a limited amount of resource to teach at certain schools so that is why they may narrow severely the bottlehead of accepted students though I think that there should be more of a focus on teaching "lesser academic but highly creative" musicians within top class schools for two main reasons. Probably most importantly is that there are many musicians who would have liked to have higher education but were unable to keep up with the demands/deadline so they fell through the cracks. This might limit the type of teachers we see in other schools, where some might be perfect for a job but unable to attain it because they could not complete a degree in a certain manner, what we have are teachers who are highly academic and not necessarily highly creative.

I see this problem also in other occupations for instance Anglican priests who must have completed a degree at university to be able to lead a church, there are many who have a calling for such work and would do so well because of how intergrated they are with their community but are unable to do it because of the academic hoops they are unable to jump though. The same I see with some aspiring music teachers, they would work perfectly with a classroom and really are keen to do work here, I hav emet some who have created their own schools and teach their syllabus which are quite creative, intelligent and inspiring, yet they were unable to complete a degree at university because they were unable to jump through certain academic requirements.

Secondly for teachers themselves of prestigeous schools many of them simply real with the top % of talent that they miss out on a lot of issues which challenge much lesser students. I do understand the joy a teacher gets from dealing with highly talented students who play at a high level and who train very hard because compared to lesser students they are easier to deal with.Yes there are other difficulties we may face with top talent but from my experience they pale in comparison to the "others". I think valuable training comes from teaching "lesser" students and only focusing on the high achieving talented misses out on this. I think helping these highly creative students to be able to control the academic side of things would help create more well rounded musicians out of them, also exploring how to push their creativity to the limits without academic shackles holding them back may prove highly rewarding.

I can only talk of my own experiences working with transfer students who came to me from "highly respected" teachers in my area who charge a lot of money for lessons and only take in certain students. From reading the journals of these students and the works they have gone through and how they were taught, I can see it is good though it is not always that exceptional, you would think it would cover all corners of a musical journey to create a well rounded student but often I see it hasn't done this. These students usually had no creative control over their musical journey, they usually had not learned to be creative beings but clever students who can pass grades. When they come to me it is often to escape the academic system, to me they usually are lost puppies without much understanding of the landscape of repertoire out there and the paths we can take in music, some have ideas what they would like to do but their choices have been strangled by their previous teachers who demanded a certain regieme. Prestigous school, teachers, they teach often to get good marks in tests/exams and win competitions, but do they have the time to deal with the individual journey into the various music pathways? It is the system itself which needs to change, it is a shame it probably wont for a long time. Passing grades and competition are elements still so ingrained in our education system. I think teachers of top schools can sometimes be so caught up over grades that the individual journey of each student is lost. There is that deadline to deal with which strangles creativity. Would be good to have these schools teach outside of "the system" it would produce interesting results as some of the the highly creative would not fall though the academic cracks.

I teach a number of highly creative students who lack a lot in other aspects of their skills which would make them fail at univeristy quick smart. They lack discipline, they are loose canons, they are talent uncontrolled, I spend years trying to build up these gaps and the results are often quite encouraging (though of course not all can improve a huge amount even with a few years). I can see the resources of prestigeous schools may lack being able to help these kind of students but they certainly should do more research into how it can be done, then they will not miss out on these creative geniuses that might be out there but who fear the academic system for all sorts of reasons.

Posted By: fatar760

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 12:30 PM

Blimey - this thread.... shocked sleep eek
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 12:42 PM

Originally Posted by fatar760
Blimey - this thread.... shocked sleep eek


Unfortunately, I agree...
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 01:22 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
...loose canon...


This is what you get when the binding breaks on a big fat complete works edition.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 02:03 PM

Originally Posted by fatar760
Blimey - this thread.... shocked sleep eek

Some riddle post? :P 42?

Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by fatar760
Blimey - this thread.... shocked sleep eek


Unfortunately, I agree...

I wonder what there is to agree about.

Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
...loose canon...


This is what you get when the binding breaks on a big fat complete works edition.

Yeah though it doens't make sense to what I actually wrote if you think that. Pianoworld doesn't allow editing after a certain time so I can't correct errors, oh well, that is the nature of this forum so people should be used to errors you'd hope, at least they will need to practice reading past it all.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 02:16 PM


Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
...loose canon...


This is what you get when the binding breaks on a big fat complete works edition.

Yeah though it doens't make sense to what I actually wrote if you think that. Pianoworld doesn't allow editing after a certain time so I can't correct errors, oh well, that is the nature of this forum so people should be used to errors you'd hope, at least they will need to practice reading past it all. [/quote]

It's a joke: a story with a humorous climax.

It occurs to me that a loose canon might be something from Gödel, Escher, Bach.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 02:43 PM

Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
...loose canon...


This is what you get when the binding breaks on a big fat complete works edition.


+1

And then I found 5 dollars. (explained later)
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 02:45 PM

Originally Posted by malkin

It occurs to me that a loose canon might be something from Gödel, Escher, Bach.


Highly recommended, by the way, excellent book, and on my list of books every educated person should someday read.

Although, admittedly it is not as accessible as many on my list.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 03:11 PM

Here are some ideas on one way you can help students understand how good they are at the piano and where to improve/build in a general sense. What is written here is in general form, of course the individual must know themselves to see where they perhaps fit inbetween the descriptions below, also this is only one way to measure there are others too.

So what was is there to measure ability at the piano? It is not necessarily measured by the amount of music memorized or even the difficulty of the music one can play although these are good indicators. A reliable reflection of ones ability is the rate in which they master their music. High Quality and Quantity is a reflection of an advanced piano ability.

Quality and Quantity but produced without mastery.
What if there is Quality and Quantity but is produced with inferior technique and/or with poor musical expression? One can argue that you can always improve on how you play a piece, but there is a certain level that one can reach where their ability starts to entertain most people. But what if you do not play at this level and that people who hear you play cannot stand listening to you? Certainly if one has the ability to learn music at a fast rate the can now start to sacrifice rate of learning and start developing expressive/interpretive musical ability.

Quality and Quantity but produced with mastery.
Pianists who learn their music fast and produce it with very high musical quality are certainly in the advanced region. Someone who has an encyclopedic memory of all piano styles and can sight read almost everything with great expression would be considered a grandmaster of piano. Advanced pianists have to make improvements and important decisions with their Quality and Quanitity output to further develop themselves towards the ideal grandmaster state.

Quality or Quantity alone restricts your musical development.
Many people who consider themselves advanced pianists consider themselves so because of how well they can express their quality. They do not worry about how long it takes for them to learn a piece so long it is done right and played the way they want it to. This is a big insecurity that needs to be overcome to produce greatest musical improvement. One will have to sacrifice fine tuning musical expression and start simply memorizing their music faster.

Simply learning a lot of music but playing them without mastery will hinder your technical and musical interpretation development. As you get older you physically may not be capable to deal with technical inefficiencies, one has to develop an efficient effortless technique that can last a lifetime. As musicians we should be interested in presenting our music in a musical way, people are not just interested in the notes, but the way in which the notes are expressed. As a musician you look very limited if your “musical talk” is simply dictated without expression. You also seem limited if you look very tired or your body moves inefficiently as you play the piano.

One may also learn a lot of easy music in a fast rate (this fast rate depends on the exact difficulty of the pieces learned). In this case they should aim to increase the difficulty level of their music to improve the quality of their pieces in terms of their difficulty level. This will not require them to slow down on their Quantity output, rather the tools used to produce their Quantity will be tested upon more difficult quality work grounds.

Striving for balance in Quality or Quantity.
There is a balance of Quality and Quantity that needs to be struck up if one wants to achieve an advanced level. If one gives bias to one or the other they will limit their lifetime musical development. To achieve balance we need to sacrifice our effort we are comfortable with and focus on the other side which we have been neglecting. We simply must act against what we are giving bias to. Once a balance is somewhat struck up then we can aim to increase both together, however as the difficulty level of Quality increases it naturally slows down the output of Quanitity, that does not mean that the Quantity rate has slowed down, the tools are simply used in more difficult grounds which take take more work to complete.

Lacking in both Quality and Quantity.
If you cannot play any concert standard pieces and you learn your easier music at a slow rate then you are lacking in both Quality and Quantity. A beginner would be someone who learn easy music but it takes a long time. Of course the intensity of beginners vary, if someone struggles with one handed pieces then they are a very early beginner, it depends on the pieces you play and the length of time needed to learn them.


A 4 year old for example would get away with performing "easier" pieces in concert than a 20 year old. So this means that the quality of a young child is different to that of an adult. Also quality level changes depending on your your physical makeup. I doubt a 4 year old could play a piece that requires large intervals correctly because their hands couldn't reach what is asked for. Adults who can barely reach an octave perhaps could also get away a lessened "Quality" standard but some that are advanced learn to deal with their size and can still produce the illusion of controlling positions which are impossible for their hands.

Improvement to sight reading skills is essential to develop an efficient learning rate. However how we use this sight reading is important. We cannot be slaves to the sheet, every time you read you are encouraging your muscular memory to associate with what we read. How does it feel when you play this phrase of music you are sight reading?
The more and more you sight read that passage the less you have to read to consciously tell your hands what to do. We can simply skim read the passage and our hands and ears control the rest. You can immediately sense this process, the brain making new connections which can happen with all ages. I find as you get older you make connections to what you did before more than make new connections, but our brain is constantly learning something new.
Our sound memory is immense, some of us simply know what the right notes should sound like, there is no logic statement for it, we simply can hear it in our minds eye. The same applies for muscular memory, I do not believe that with age you can lose or be unable/restricted to learn new movements of the hand. Our conscious memory (Sight reading skills and logically observing a phrase that we read and transferring it to an action in our hands) can only be strengthened with age as we can draw from years of experience.
If this experience has not been acquired then I would say the older student has a more difficult challenge ahead of themselves. They have to get through more work with less time which produces a difficult learning curve. However older students often have a good understanding life skills such as discipline and hard work. This can prove a major advantage over a young student who has no discipline but soaks up knowledge like a sponge. It is like the turtle and the hare fable smile Slow and steady will always win.
As the adult improves they also know how to use past knowledge to help them, the child usually does not associate it with past experience in such logical terms, they just "feel it". But the adult observes everything they do, this allows them to control their musical quality and quantity more directly with good instruction. The adult may also pick up sight reading skills easier than the younger student and be able to approach it with more focus and discipline.

A complete approach to memorizing your music is required if you want to maintain it your whole life. Of course I cannot say that a good approach will cure against brain diseases that might rob you of mental capability, though there is that story of a man with the worst case of amnesia who can still play piano so music does last a very long time even in damaged brains. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO-3Ruw61Sg
It certainly helps I believe, making new connections constantly is important to keep our brains healthy. It is complicated activities that keeps the brain working, in piano we have the Conscious (sight reading, logical statements, pattern observations etc), Muscular (hands memorizing a group of notes with a particular movement of the hand) and Sound (using the sound in our minds eye to aid our decision making with our muscular memory) memory always working together as a whole.

I believe that being an advanced musician is also defined by the music you have already memorized and play at concert standard. So an older student who has a large repertoire might be excused to learn any new material and merely sharpen the huge amount of works they have already learned. But to keep the brain active and working you must learn new material and make new connections in the brain. Neurologists who study brain exercises note that repetitive work in grounds that are familiar to us (like crosswords) is not as beneficial to the brain as working in situations which require us to strategically approach a constantly changing situation.
Someone who trains their brain to work at an advanced musical rate will be able to encourage the brain to maintain this rate even in older age. It may slow down, but we never work at maximum effort every day of our lives anyway. As you get older you may even have more time for yourself and thus your discipline towards your music may increase. As you get older you may also learn new tricks and understand how your own brain works so that you can learn things faster. If we find ourselves memorizing our work through brute force then we will find that as we age and our brain slows down, we cannot deal with this inefficient approach.

Someone who plays the piano very well but does it without any discipline would admit that the music they produce is second rate. They will not admit that the work they produce is the best they can possibly do because they know they have not worked the best they possibly could. I don't think that we can ever admit that the work we produce is the best we can do, we will always be insecure with how we play when comparing it to what is the "ideal" sound in our minds eye. I believe someone is limiting themselves if they approach music without discipline and without regard to the rate in which they learn. Although they may produce wonderful works their output is very slow and thus they are limiting themselves and others of the wonderful music they could be producing!

A lot of people are undisciplined in their approach to music, I know this very well as a music teacher! It is the keystone to someones progress, as a teacher I find that I am unclogging this problem in younger students much more than anything else. They can learn all these efficient ways to learn their music and it will increase the flow of their learning rate but if they have no persistence to their approach it their progress merely leaks out. Likewise if a student works hard at their music but refuses to improve their approach to learning their music they will founder and take the long way around. Many teachers work on simply Quality in a student and forget about the Quantity so it is not always the students fault.

Sometimes we like to study pieces that takes us a long time and to which there is a slow learning curve. I believe this is a slow way to approach your musical study. You should be learning more easier pieces than one large difficult piece. The process of learning is no different in an easy piece than in a difficult piece, the technique and what the fingers have to do is more difficult but the way in which our brain learns music is the same in all instances. We must practice this learning multiple times and as many times as possible instead of simply focusing on "difficult" pieces.

As you improve the pieces that might have been difficult for you 3 years ago now are a normal level for you. Then you can go ahead and learn these efficiency and with control. This is why Quality and Quantity is a reflection of an advanced ability at piano learning. As you heighten the bar which you consider "difficult" music you are improving yourself as a musician. If when you play you consider much of what you play difficult, then you are somewhat lacking in your abilities.

I believe as we get better at the piano we realize how far we actually have to go, "We know we don't know." As opposed to the others who simply "Don't know that they Don't know." We are forever reaching for that ultimate rate of learning, so that all those challenges become a routine mastered as fast as possible.
Posted By: Dr. Rogers

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 03:41 PM

Originally Posted by malkin

This is what you get when the binding breaks on a big fat complete works edition.


Originally Posted by malkin

It's a joke: a story with a humorous climax.


+1 for one of the funniest jokes I've read in a long time, and another +1 for the Star Trek IV reference!
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 06:50 PM

Here is a case of an autistic/fragilex student I had the pleasure of teaching, I think he was a good case for determining how to build up a student who pretty much cannot comprehend the vast majority of what you would normally use to build a student. All students are like this in a much much lesser form, not all tools we use can build them up as we would with others, this case is an extreme case which makes it very obvious. This was the most challenging student I ever had the joy to teach.

The boy is nine years old and has only recently learned to say a few words. In our first lesson I treated him like other low functioning autistic children I taught, setting him up to succeed only, constantly approving of his attempts, never letting him feel like he has done anything wrong and trying to calculate constantly that I do not distract him (use pencil to point for example, I caught myself doing it as I do with most students and he touched the pencil and got totally distracted lol) At the end of the first lesson he was looking at me, smiling, waved goodbye which I was very touched and surprised to see. I personally find building a relationship where they feel safe is the first most important step. All of this is pretty much the same for any student but often at a much lesser degree.

I managed to get him to notice the two and three black notes, how pedals work and their effects of the inside of the piano, how loud and soft the piano can go, where high and low notes are etc. I even dismantled some of the piano, slid the grand piano action out and showed him how it worked. He was extremely fascinated, actually I have never really done this for any other student and I'm sure many have never seen it done before but I have no time to do such things for other students, for this special needs student it seemed very appropriate though. I managed to get him to repeat one, two then three different notes in sequences for me and he could repeat it after some effort after a few weeks of lessons. I have to stand back and look at this student in a different light that others. Where some students want to play composed pieces which sound nice it seems to me that child just wants to see what a piano can do, get to know it as an object itself. I showed him also how to play thirds and he was doing it all over the piano. He liked to see a single white note space in between notes, that pattern intrigued him somehow.

I love the idea of using image art to accompany the teaching. I used dark cloudy storms and put that at the bass of the piano and I used bright sunny pictures at the very top, I allowed him to play around with the connection between the image and sound with random chord clusters he made around those regions, he seemed pleased that the dark sounds were like a grumbling storm. I also use blocks, I think will be a wonderful tools as one of his favorite toys are just those. I wonder how to use them so not to distract him, I had to ponder over that and then find a way to test it out. The result was that it distracted him too much if I used them as a means to find particular notes on the piano to play, the blocks themselves posed too much of an attractor for his attention and encouraged actions outside of music. I ended up using the blocks and hiding them inside the piano in certain places and asked him to find them, I would say there was a block near the high sounds of the piano and he would be drawn to look somewhere to the right, I said I put a block on the pedal and he would find it also, put one next to one of the sound holes in the metallic frame and he would find it etc etc. So I could use it for non piano playing education and make it more fun for him which I thought was fine rather than me just saying to find particular parts without those blocks. Though of course he would play with these blocks once they were found but that was ok. This made me think about how I should attract my "normal" students to certain details we learn.

I agreed very strongly in trying to ascertain a doable repetitive pattern in his learning routine then copy it as much as needed and attempt to amplify it. This is something I found common in my other autistic students, we had to find a routine in their learning and stick to it religiously. But those students could speak and give me feedback, with some fragilx students they can be very delayed in their verbal capabilities, so I found myself trying to interpret his body language and vocal sounds, I am very grateful his mother sits with us in lessons, she interprets for me constantly, a very caring and understanding young woman. She also tells him to concentrate and listen but in a nice way, you can see he loves her very much and listens to her. This makes me think about how we listen to feedback our other students parents/guardians give us, sometimes we can be too quick to dismiss things said to us because we think we know what's happening, sometimes they are not very involved in their childs study at all, perhaps that is perhaps problem since they don't have someone to watch over them, although of couse it is not always possible to fix this situation (some parents/guardians work very hard, have many children etc etc)

I see intelligence in this student but it is severely trapped, I certainly do not believe that he is lost and unable to ever demonstrate it. But thinking waaaay outside of the box will be a requirement to nurture his attempts to improve and take chances. Outside of the box means seeing his education with the piano as a tool for other learning skills such as understanding the routine of a lesson with a teacher. For him the routine of walking into the studio and making his way to the piano (sometimes he would see something in the room different and go investigate, I remember one day I put some new candles on a table and he was drawn to it for a few minutes, nothing would break his attention from that), giving his books to the teacher (although sometimes it wasn't given to me he had to be guided to hand it to me always as a part of his routine), listening to a teacher (following very basic instructions which required his mum to help a lot, she was a big part of his comfort and confidence), sitting still (or being encouraged to sit at all!) and controlling his body to make sound on the piano (extremely challenging to the nth degree), most importantly being curious and enjoying the sound that comes from the piano, feeling safe with someone who is trying to teach him skills, not being afraid to give things a go without worrying about what others think etc. These fundamental learning skills I find are more important than learning to play the piano with this young chap, the piano is just a tool to practice these. But as a musican I still wonder how can I meet this boy somewhere in the middle, where we do what he needs as a learning fundamental and where we teach him about producing forms of music itself through the piano.

I was told by an autistic therapist that many low functioning autistic students can learn how to play music but the skill can very easiy be totally lost and you have to start again and again and again from scratch. As a teacher I feel scared and bewildered how to teach a student like this who can literally forget everything. Maybe I have to not expect what I want but instead enjoy the process of constantly repairing and setting foundations. It's very confusing for me because I have never really experienced anyone like this! He was really most extreme case I ever dealt with but he taught me a great deal about my normal functioning students too. We only had half a year of lessons and then they moved away so we didn't get much further than what was described, it was a very playful lesson and made me think, life really is playful. I watched this video not long ago and it made me think about this boy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBpaUICxEhk&fb= He certainly played with the piano in his way, he didn't work it.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/14/19 07:16 PM

LiW, could you take a few days or maybe even a week or two to really browse this site to see what ideas and approaches are already out there. I would suggest that both the teacher forum and the "Adult Beginner" forum are good places, the because the ABF has some people who are not beginners, and people who have done a lot of research, a lot of thinking outside the box and have contributed some valuable things. Look for things like "effective practising". I can't explain why I'm suggesting this, but you might see a reason yourself by doing so. It may also act as a bridge in various ways.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 02:10 AM

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by TimR
I notice a common conversation characteristic frequently that is related.

One person is speaking. The other person is paying limited attention, maybe 10% to 25% focused on the speaker, and the rest focused on formulating his rebuttal. I think we have examples of that in this thread, and perhaps in the imaginary vignette of teaching the child.

I think not listening or partial listening can relate to the cooperative principles' maxim of quantity. People who don't listen or only partially listen sometimes either do not make their contribution as informative as is required for the current purposes of the exchange, or they make their contribution more informative than is required. Either case can be stated as "not address the point" or "not answering the question."


My grandma had a friend who would call her on the phone from time to time. This lady could talk like the wind blows, like the sun shines, and like the rain falls. My grandma would fall asleep with the phone to her ear and wake up periodically and respond empathetically. We grand kids used to run in the other room to laugh our heads off or wake Grandma up when she started to snore. If only we'd had ubiquitous 21st century video technology back in the mid-20th, I'm sure we'd have recorded it, and I'd share it with you all now.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 03:43 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, could you take a few days or maybe even a week or two to really browse this site to see what ideas and approaches are already out there. I would suggest that both the teacher forum and the "Adult Beginner" forum are good places, the because the ABF has some people who are not beginners, and people who have done a lot of research, a lot of thinking outside the box and have contributed some valuable things. Look for things like "effective practising". I can't explain why I'm suggesting this, but you might see a reason yourself by doing so. It may also act as a bridge in various ways.

Why do you think I should do this keystring any more than what I have already done? I would have thought you can say this to the few vocal minorities who are responding here off topic, perhaps they can learn how to stay on topic? I don't see how me doing what you say would change any of my approach to the forum and much of what is written echoes ideas already posted on pianostreet which I have read for some 15 years. There is a lot of repetition on all forums I have been on so if I repeat anything it doesn't matter at all. I also am sharing some experiences that I have gone through which I think is helpeful to add. Your response is a little confusing.

Again if people don't want to contribute to this thread in a useful manner and merely want to talk about other things that is up to them, I can't control their actions. If people want to take up what I have said into consideration or expand with their own ideas that is probably a better response and what should be expected in a teachers forum. A number of vocal members who have posted on here a few times actually contribute nothing much at all just banter about. This however does not respresent the majority of users that are on this thread, like I have said the majority do not even respond and just read, unfortunately those who post think that they represent the majority which is quite mistaken. So I will continue to post my ideas that I think are relevant.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 03:51 AM

Because there are things to refer to in responding to some things you wrote that would be easier if you were familiar with them. Because in a dialogue, there is a meeting of different worlds, and communication can only happen under those conditions - otherwise you have monologues. For "more than you have already done", I don't know how much you have done. smile Anyway, it was just an idea.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 03:57 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
LiW, could you take a few days or maybe even a week or two to really browse this site...


I agree completely with keystring that it could be useful for you to gain some understanding of the audience at PW. By looking through posts here, you could decide if you wish to become a member of the community.


Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Again if people don't want to contribute to this thread in a useful manner and merely want to talk about other things that is up to them...

This is also true, but it is possible that a personal blog would be a more appropriate vehicle for you to disseminate your doctrine.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 03:59 AM

All these passive aggressive remarks towards my post isn't bothering me on bit, its quite funny really and I feel sad for them in another way. People who are upset about me posting were first confrontational and when they realized it doesn't work they try something else. This is all very good evidence why many others might not wish to post here because there are a few loud marginalized minorities (which you get on all internet forums) that band together and try to make themselves feel better by casting unconstructive crticism. I think though that it offers an interesting window into the psychology of these kinds of people, so I learn something as wel about the mindset of people who disagree and cannot contend with the actual content of what they are disagreeing with and must attack it sideways. Poor delicate petals.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 04:00 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
Because there are things to refer to in responding to some things you wrote that would be easier if you were familiar with them. Because in a dialogue, there is a meeting of different worlds, and communication can only happen under those conditions - otherwise you have monologues. For "more than you have already done", I don't know how much you have done. smile Anyway, it was just an idea.

Can you give examples of what I could refer to and how it would make my thread any better? Are there rules on pianoworld which encourage people to do what you are saying? Why do you think that I need to do what you are saying? Why do you think you need to control this thread any differently from all the others that are posted here?
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 04:03 AM

Originally Posted by malkin

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Again if people don't want to contribute to this thread in a useful manner and merely want to talk about other things that is up to them...

This is also true, but it is possible that a personal blog would be a more appropriate vehicle for you to disseminate your doctrine.


There is no rules on pianoworld which says I cannot post freely knowledge to others, I also encourage others to respond and question if they have something to say and have engaged with every single person who has done so. Also I prefer to post on forums because I have personal journals offline that I already write in, so I don't see the need to do one online as well, also I don't mind having my writings being looked at by multple people and dont mind any response that is generated by it, negativity is to be expected that happens everywhere on the internet but there is much more positive energy that generates from my postings on forums. I have met many interesting people though these kind of forums some in person and others just through messaging. I am a people person so I dont mind being around my favorite creatures :P lol
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 04:16 AM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Can you give examples of what I could refer to and how it would make my thread any better? Are there rules on pianoworld which encourage people to do what you are saying? Why do you think that I need to do what you are saying? Why do you think you need to control this thread any differently from all the others that are posted here?

You are extrapolating or projecting attitudes and thoughts that I do not hold. I cannot answer why I think I need to control the thread, since I have no such thought. You may be surprised that some people cooperate and help each other.

I posted to one of your threads to give it a chance. I will withdraw if the editing window still allows me to do so. I don't feel comfortable with these frequent views of confrontation.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 04:40 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
I was looking at this thread earlier today:
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
]Here are some ideas on one way you can help students understand how good they are at the piano and where to improve/build in a general sense. ...

Putting on a student hat for the moment:

I felt in an unfamiliar world as I read the whole post, and it starts with understanding "how good" you are. As a student my thinking will be - what do I need to learn; maybe how good this piece is and what needs to be done with it. The post then went on, using "quality" and "quantity" as two broad terms. The things are not untrue. But if it is about helping a student understand, I think this comes in specifics and not such broad things. Your sense of time is poor, which is affecting your playing, and this is how we'll work on it. You have the technical abilities but don't have much of a sense of interpretation - here's how we'll start to build this. These go to quality and quantity, but in a way that as students we can use and work with.


The very next sentence that followed what you quoted was: "What is written here is in general form, of course the individual must know themselves to see where they perhaps fit inbetween the descriptions below, also this is only one way to measure there are others too."

So considering Quality and Quantitiy is only one tool one can use to measure, there are others too. I agree there are specifics but what I offered in that post was one method in which one can have an overall view of what they are doing. Again, there are more ways to do it I didn't want to list everything because I wanted to go into detail on Quality and Quantity.


Originally Posted by keystring
Quote
Striving for balance in Quality or Quantity.
There is a balance of Quality and Quantity that needs to be struck up if one wants to achieve an advanced level. If one gives bias to one or the other they will limit their lifetime musical development. To achieve balance we need to sacrifice our effort we are comfortable with and focus on the other side which we have been neglecting. We simply must act against what we are giving bias to. Once a balance is somewhat struck up then we can aim to increase both together, however as the difficulty level of Quality increases it naturally slows down the output of Quantity, that does not mean that the Quantity rate has slowed down, the tools are simply used in more difficult grounds which take take more work to complete.

This makes sense, of course.

Yeah, sometimes it is amazing what people actually don't find common sense I come across that quite often. Or at least they can understand it is common sense but never really put it into consideration. Sometimes these kind of things are good to meditate upon because they are easy to agree with but what they actually mean for our journey is a much deeper issue.

Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
A 4 year old for example would get away with performing "easier" pieces in concert than a 20 year old. So this means that the quality of a young child is different to that of an adult.

Wouldn't that also depend on how long the adult has been studying music? If the 20 year old started music 6 months before, he may well play the same music as a 4 year old.

A 20 year old who has just began would be somewhat a beginner compared to the average pool of 20 year olds who play piano and have the potential for years of experience. The average skill level of 4 year olds who play piano will be lower than that of 20 year olds, from my experience this is true which is taking into account may hundreds of students I have personally taught, maybe they are not all exactly 4 and 20 year olds but around those age groups. If we are comparing the exact time for learning I would say that a 20 year old can progress faster than a 4 year old in most cases so there is a higher expectation on average as the age goes up to some point. I taught a beginner 85+ year old and they progressed slow though, so there is that upper limitation. If a 4 year old sits at a piano and plays our expectations are much lower than if a 20 year old sits down to play.


Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
If this experience has not been acquired then I would say the older student has a more difficult challenge ahead of themselves. They have to get through more work with less time which produces a difficult learning curve.

It is indeed a challenge. However, I don't see the "less time" part. It takes as long as it takes, and one take that time - it becomes an investment for future ease.

So this quote was attached the idea of sight reading studies. Less time in several senses, one that when you get older your time becomes more restricted you have more duties, work, family etc, you also naturally have less years in your life left. Building sight reading skills is a long term procedure which never really ends, so starting early is a good idea then your potential is given more time to grow that is the same with many things about piano study too.


Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
s the adult improves they also know how to use past knowledge to help them, the child usually does not associate it with past experience in such logical terms, they just "feel it". But the adult observes everything they do, this allows them to control their musical quality and quantity more directly with good instruction.

Yes. But avoid "analysis paralysis" at the other extreme.


Good point, one can certainly think too much and flounder about. I use adults strengths to their advantage and push them on if they get into this "analysis paralysis" mode. This over thinking doesn't happen to all of them but yes it is a possiblity. A good way to avoid it is to give concrete ideas which can be solved AND applied to some context and not left in generic mystery without context. If you generalize ideas and say things like "in time you will understand" this can often leave them lost in a circle of their thoughts, as teachers we should avoid that and go along with the students thought process on issues to ensure it isn't happening.

Originally Posted by keystring

Quote
Sometimes we like to study pieces that takes us a long time and to which there is a slow learning curve. I believe this is a slow way to approach your musical study. You should be learning more easier pieces than one large difficult piece. The process of learning is no different in an easy piece than in a difficult piece, the technique and what the fingers have to do is more difficult but the way in which our brain learns music is the same in all instances. We must practice this learning multiple times and as many times as possible instead of simply focusing on "difficult" pieces.

As you improve the pieces that might have been difficult for you 3 years ago now are a normal level for you. Then you can go ahead and learn these efficiency and with control. This is why Quality and Quantity is a reflection of an advanced ability at piano learning. As you heighten the bar which you consider "difficult" music you are improving yourself as a musician. If when you play you consider much of what you play difficult, then you are somewhat lacking in your abilities.

I believe as we get better at the piano we realize how far we actually have to go, "We know we don't know." As opposed to the others who simply "Don't know that they Don't know." We are forever reaching for that ultimate rate of learning, so that all those challenges become a routine mastered as fast as possible.

I think these are all generally accepted, and good things to keep in mind.

Though I have heard of "stretch pieces" and that they might be used effectively if approached judiciously.


Oh yes there are many ways in which you can throw a student into the "deep end" Here are some ideas and by no means are all that you can do:

[1] Since a lot of musical work has to do with the visualisation of the group of notes in the piece we try to learn I ask students to discuss this in detail instead of just trying to play. I ask them to identify common shapes found within their music made by the family of chords and scales we often encounter. This common shape sense aids our memory of course a great deal and i like to get students thinking this straight away. It is easy to observe these shapes by themselves but to see them in the sheet music, in an actual piece, and to understand how and why they change requires musical logic.

I ask students to work on Bar x to y for the week for a particular peice. I ensure that they write down how they observe the patterns that they see in the score. I think this type of observations are very impottant, seeing how each hand relates to one another through similar notes, seeing which fingers replace or go near or use the others when moving etc etc. I like to read these observations from the more beginner/intermediant students who are still trying to get their heads/hands around form at the piano because it reveals their musical logic process.

I usually spend a while discussing shape and form the student came up with for the sections we set the previous week. Contrasting their ideas to my own I offer them other perspectives as to how they should perhaps see the pattern in the score, and what other patterns can be found to further guide our memory. I guess, tricks as to how to look at the score, and how to use it to aid the memory. This contrasting of ideas expands their logical mind, and hopefully then they can understand the patterns hidden in the movement of notes clearer.

As well as being able to highlight patterns in the sheet music they should also connect those patterns to the movement groups found in their playing (i.e: when the hands have to actually move). These usually set the basis for drills used to memorise the music. One would play passages where the hand doesnt have to move without disrupting the flow, but pause between each movement group. So I ask them to play for the the drills that they created to memorise and develop a "Routine touch" (play without thinking about notes rather the physical movement to produce them) for the music. Of course i will not ask of this from advanced students, rather i will listen to their playing and observe their physical playing as a whole rather than caring about how they went about binding it all together, i assume they know how to bind, i just critique the finishing touches.

[2] A further way i throw students into the deep end is by setting them at least one very small section of a hard piece beyond their ability for now. I ask them to make progress on that as if it where a peice they had to study and again write down and discuss the more indepth memory processes and visualisations that have to be gone through, also the physical technique required to produce it. They know it isnt music they have to play well, rather it is music used to demonstrate their ability to absorb music. If you can only absorb what is at your level that is never good, leaves too many mental boundaries and less room for growth imo.

What i want is not a student who is a master of playing, rather one who is a master of resource and tactics of musical study, so that they can work on anything and know if they are doing it right or wrong. The only way i find i can do that is by forcing them to make musical decisions. When I set something ridiculous often the following week I get a blank stare and its rather apparent that they where utterly lost and fell flat on their face. This is fine so long the teacher is there to guide, try this, put a bit more effort on this, this was on the right track, this wasn't etc. They begin to think more musically and see shapes in more difficult stuff, then when they look at their easier work the patterns just look so simplistic.

[3] A further way i throw them into the deep end is by playing their music they learn back to them and ask them what i did right or wrong. I make obvious errors and also not so obvious, and ask them to tell me to stop when they think there is something wrong. I will also play music they havent heard before and play it without expression or dynamics and ask them to tell me what should be done just by listening to the notes a few times.

Of course these things do not take the majority of the time in a lesson but they do come up every week.

Oh so many ways to throw students into the deep end!!
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 04:41 AM


Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
There is no rules on pianoworld which says I cannot post freely knowledge to others...

Yes, because of the generosity of our host, you would be allowed to post on PW to your heart's content.

Since you show very little interest in the ideas, opinions, or needs of others, I forsee that you might receive fewer and fewer responses, with the result that your posts a personal blog hosted on a public site. It wouldn't be the only one. There are a few vanity threads here, some with quite a few followers.

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I also encourage others to respond and question if they have something to say and have engaged with every single person who has done so.

I haven't seen this, exactly.

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I am a people person so I dont mind being around my favorite creatures :P lol

From reading your posts, my impression is that your favorite exemplar of your favorite creature is yourself, which I find tedious, but others may have a different view.

Please let me clarify that it isn't personal; I have little interest in pretty much anyone with a communication style similar to yours.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 04:41 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Can you give examples of what I could refer to and how it would make my thread any better? Are there rules on pianoworld which encourage people to do what you are saying? Why do you think that I need to do what you are saying? Why do you think you need to control this thread any differently from all the others that are posted here?

You are extrapolating or projecting attitudes and thoughts that I do not hold. I cannot answer why I think I need to control the thread, since I have no such thought. You may be surprised that some people cooperate and help each other.

I posted to one of your threads to give it a chance. I will withdraw if the editing window still allows me to do so. I don't feel comfortable with these frequent views of confrontation.

Maybe control is a wrong word, it could be replaced with "assist" in any case I don't mean it to be used in a negative manner. I hope the other questions were not read in a negative way.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 04:49 AM

Originally Posted by malkin

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
There is no rules on pianoworld which says I cannot post freely knowledge to others...

Yes, because of the generosity of our host, you would be allowed to post on PW to your heart's content.

Since you show very little interest in the ideas, opinions, or needs of others, I forsee that you might receive fewer and fewer responses, with the result that your posts a personal blog hosted on a public site. It wouldn't be the only one. There are a few vanity threads here, some with quite a few followers.

That is not an accurate assessment of my interactions one bit, I respond to peoples with interest so much so that some of you complain about the length of my posts and merely tag it in negative light. This all seems to me another instance of the pot calling the kettle black. If I respond in agreement or disagreement to someone questions to me that should show my interest in what they say.

Originally Posted by malkin

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I also encourage others to respond and question if they have something to say and have engaged with every single person who has done so.

I haven't seen this, exactly.

Exactly? There is ample evidence of this throughout the entire thread, so I don't know what you are reading, it obviously is not the whole thread.

Originally Posted by malkin

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I am a people person so I dont mind being around my favorite creatures :P lol

From reading your posts, my impression is that your favorite exemplar of your favorite creature is yourself, which I find tedious, but others may have a different view.

Please let me clarify that it isn't personal; I have little interest in pretty much anyone with a communication style similar to yours.

Well you are making assumptions about me in a negative light so trying to "clarify that it isn't personal" is a pretty poor way to dodge exactly what you are doing. Take what I say as truth when I talk about myself since you don't know me well enough to argue that fact, that is just being silly on your behalf. If you have little interest in my communication style then you have no need to post on this thread, you are not forced to you know :P
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 05:31 AM

Originally Posted by malkin
From reading your posts, my impression is that your favorite exemplar of your favorite creature is yourself

Well said.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 07:24 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
From reading your posts, my impression is that your favorite exemplar of your favorite creature is yourself

Well said.

Yes pat each other on the back for personal attacks on other members that you have no personal knowledge of at all. Just highlights the type of marginalised perspectives you’d expect from a band of minorities who want to simply insult instead of share useful knowledge.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 01:34 PM

[b][/b]
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
From reading your posts, my impression is that your favorite exemplar of your favorite creature is yourself

Well said.

Yes pat each other on the back for personal attacks on other members that you have no personal knowledge of at all.


But that isn't really the case, is it? After all, we have a HUGE volume of your work product, and that tells us quite a bit about you.

And a number of responders have tried rather generously and tactfully to offer ways that you could fit in better. I haven't been as welcoming as keystring, for example, who has tried rather hard to explain how to better become part of the community! though I had good intentions - I'm just not quite as good a "people" person.

At any rate, what you perceive as personal attacks are quite often sincere attempts to be helpful, and it would be useful to react as if they are, even if you don't like the way they may be worded.

When I used to drive on the Autobahn we had a saying: If you see one Geistfahrer, dodge them and you're probably okay; when you see a hundred, there's a problem. Relevance to this scenario is obvious.
Posted By: Andamento

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 01:50 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
From reading your posts, my impression is that your favorite exemplar of your favorite creature is yourself

Well said.

Yes pat each other on the back for personal attacks on other members that you have no personal knowledge of at all. Just highlights the type of marginalised perspectives you’d expect from a band of minorities who want to simply insult instead of share useful knowledge.


Here's an example of a personal attack, Lost (in bold print):

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
All these passive aggressive remarks towards my post isn't bothering me on bit, its quite funny really and I feel sad for them in another way. People who are upset about me posting were first confrontational and when they realized it doesn't work they try something else. This is all very good evidence why many others might not wish to post here because there are a few loud marginalized minorities (which you get on all internet forums) that band together and try to make themselves feel better by casting unconstructive crticism. I think though that it offers an interesting window into the psychology of these kinds of people, so I learn something as wel about the mindset of people who disagree and cannot contend with the actual content of what they are disagreeing with and must attack it sideways. Poor delicate petals.


No one's called you any names or attacked you in any way. We certainly haven't called you a "poor delicate petal" for disagreeing with us. That is a derogatory label and entirely uncalled for.

Please understand the difference between disagreement with ideas and name-calling / attacks on persons.

Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 03:45 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
From reading your posts, my impression is that your favorite exemplar of your favorite creature is yourself

Well said.

Yes pat each other on the back for personal attacks on other members that you have no personal knowledge of at all.


But that isn't really the case, is it? After all, we have a HUGE volume of your work product, and that tells us quite a bit about you.

What does it personally say about me, it seems it says a lot more about my perspective about piano education doesn't it? Yet people want to read into personal issues and also ignore what I say about myself when asked to post elsewhere instead of forums, a journal, which I said I prefer to write on forums because I like to be around people to which I was told I only like myself more lol.

Originally Posted by TimR

And a number of responders have tried rather generously and tactfully to offer ways that you could fit in better. I haven't been as welcoming as keystring, for example, who has tried rather hard to explain how to better become part of the community! though I had good intentions - I'm just not quite as good a "people" person.

Fit in better? Please! Who made all these people the rule makers who are supposed to help others fit in? Oh they are so altruistic? LOL!
I also private message keystring about many other issues over many years I wonder who else wants to private message me? Oh no they just want to make a public spectacle and argue irrelevant things as if that makes them look better or something, it's just rather funny though.


Originally Posted by TimR

At any rate, what you perceive as personal attacks are quite often sincere attempts to be helpful, and it would be useful to react as if they are, even if you don't like the way they may be worded.

No it is a personal attack, the poster even tried to evade it by saying "this isn't a personal attack" lol. I've said something simple that I am a people person and like being around people to which it was thrown back at me saying I like myself more than others. How do you see this? Oh, a very selfless way to help me fit in, that's right lol.

Originally Posted by TimR

When I used to drive on the Autobahn we had a saying: If you see one Geistfahrer, dodge them and you're probably okay; when you see a hundred, there's a problem. Relevance to this scenario is obvious.

You are mistaken that these vocal minorities are the majority, you should realize that a much larger % of users don't post at all and simply read. If you think that vocal minorities represent the mass you should do some calculations of views of this post vs the people who are posting negative irrelevant rubbish on here.


Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
From reading your posts, my impression is that your favorite exemplar of your favorite creature is yourself

Well said.

Yes pat each other on the back for personal attacks on other members that you have no personal knowledge of at all. Just highlights the type of marginalised perspectives you’d expect from a band of minorities who want to simply insult instead of share useful knowledge.


Here's an example of a personal attack, Lost (in bold print):

So calling people up on their personal attacks on me is a personal attack? What kind of witchcraft logic is that! lol.

Originally Posted by Andamento
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
All these passive aggressive remarks towards my post isn't bothering me on bit, its quite funny really and I feel sad for them in another way. People who are upset about me posting were first confrontational and when they realized it doesn't work they try something else. This is all very good evidence why many others might not wish to post here because there are a few loud marginalized minorities (which you get on all internet forums) that band together and try to make themselves feel better by casting unconstructive crticism. I think though that it offers an interesting window into the psychology of these kinds of people, so I learn something as wel about the mindset of people who disagree and cannot contend with the actual content of what they are disagreeing with and must attack it sideways. Poor delicate petals.


No one's called you any names or attacked you in any way. We certainly haven't called you a "poor delicate petal" for disagreeing with us. That is a derogatory label and entirely uncalled for.

Please understand the difference between disagreement with ideas and name-calling / attacks on persons.


Where is this a standard as a derogatory label? Who did I personally call a delicate petal and why would that be a problem? Is what I am saying in this quote fitting exactly what the vocal minorities are doing? In your mind they are not doing any of this so they can't be classed as "delicate petals" right? You don't even know what I mean by it so fill in the gaps yourself.

You obviously cannot read that the following is a personal attack, there have been several attempts but this is the most recent one:

I say: " am a people person so I dont mind being around my favorite creatures :P "
I get response: "Your favorite exemplar of your favorite creature is yourself" and added to the end "Please let me clarify that it isn't personal; I have little interest in pretty much anyone with a communication style similar to yours."

So this person has little interest to communicate with me and just wants to throw their unfounded opinions about me? They simply want to disagree with what I said to fit their little world. The context of this all was that this person told me that I should post on blogs away from this forum, I explained I have the right to post here and reasons why I post here instead all of which was ignored and there merely was a wish to throw in a personal attack on me which they were well aware of it since they had to flippantly attempt to avoid it in a feeble way and specifically say it is not an attack. Good grief if it was not packaged in such a way there would be no need to lie about what it exactly is.

A few minorities are crying about how I post and the length of my posts, they can't even contend with the infromation I have offered so to be heard they complain about quite unintelligent issues. I can't stop them but they are not foced to remain on this thread, there are plenty of other topics being discussed, they certainly will not stop me one bit, I really don't care about the unconstructive opinions of negative strangers, been on the internet far too long, very desensitized to it smile
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 04:05 PM

So another issue that can help one build up is to know the subtle difference between right and wrong. In terms of piano technique development it is actually quite instructive to show the small difference between right and wrong or efficient and not so efficient. Piano technique is not like violin where you must have good technique or you sound terrible, with the piano you can have inefficeint technique and still produce good sound.

One thing I have found in all my students beginner-advanced is that they learn a great deal from being shown how subtle the difference between good+bad playing or even practicing a phrase of music can be. With beginners I identify the a particular physical movement they make which is rough, I reproduce it for them (or exaggerate it) pinpointing exactly which movement I disagree with and draw their attention to it. Then I demonstrate the exact change they need to make which often requires only a very slight change to their original physical movement as if it is too much it can overwhelm/confuse them and you risk them merely parroting without intrinsic awareness. If there are many issues that need correcting we will focus on the main one rather than try to recreate everything, we must build on what they already have and move towards efficiency rather than expecting it all to be picture perfect at once.

I will identify which bounds in the score they must repeat so that they train the change to their technique. I will also break this up in as many steps as they require so that there is no struggle for them personally to achieve a correct repetition of the passage. This is always different for each student, the beginners need a lot more direction, the more advanced usually only need a single idea to make the change to their technique.

From this I have found I am putting more little marks on their sheet music then referring them to their notebook which I have written this physical change they must act towards in a way which they can understand. It makes their study more secure and they do not have to mindlessly repeat until they get it. I will also highlight where this improvement to their movement repeats (or is very similar) throughout the piece, this application of knowledge makes it more efficient to master small passages.

Many of my older students from doing this do not mind laboring on small passages where otherwise they would have simply played over it and continued on. They can appreciate the small difference needed in their playing and can act to improve it and observe this improvement.

When you as a teacher see a student play a piece with technique which is just very slightly off, how do you act to improve it? General comments rarely help unless the student is advanced enough to form their physical playing at will. Even advanced students need to be described things in details now and then. I really like to show the small difference between good and bad playing and higlighting it through their own subtle bad playing.

I definately do not mould a student to play like me, but I can aim to see changes in the students in a way which improves ease of their playing. Before imposing ideas upon students I must ask or investigate whether what I ask for really is easier for them or not. More often than not they will agree agree it is easier, but sometimes they refuse to agree or don't feel a difference. So when I ask the student to judge whether the physically changes I require from their technique is indeed easier for them, I have to ensure that 1) they fully understand logically what I am asking for 2) They can see what they have to change in their playing 3) That the change they make has an observable feeling to their hand that they can compare to their original method to decide which is easier. 4) That they agree that my suggestion makes things easier for them.

As you speak with a student, the diagnosis you go through as to what you have prescribed them must be spot on. I know the hands of all my students in great detail, I know exactly how it feels just by watching their hands play. I developed this diagnosis through experience observing hundreds of individual hands, the choreography of the hands is something experienced teachers do pick up on and proponents such as Taubman would place great research emphasis on this (ideas which I think are mostly quite interesting).

Bad technique is like an inefficient marathon runner. They move excessively and waste their energy. However some can be inefficient and still run very well and even win events! But in the long run it will adversely effect their endurance.

My concept of good technique is one which the hand is kept as relaxed as possible. The Chopin hand form is a compass (RH resting on E Gb Ab Bb B ). I try to act against unnecessary expansion or contraction away from this natural hand shape.

When you play your hand should not continually change shape if it's not required. If you must change the shape of your hand it is done in such a way that it required least amount of effort. Sometimes I see abrupt changes to the hand form instead of a smooth gradual one. For instance if I altered a Hanon exercise (I'll use Hanon because it is a simple model to discuss) like this:

RH: (CE) F G A (A octaves 5th not moved, thumb expands downwards ) G F E ... using the fingering (12) 3 4 5 (15) 4 3 2

Good technique has a gradual expansion of the thumb rather than a hurried and rush movement to the octaves, then a gradual contraction back to the original position. While the hand plays the EFG the thumb makes it way slowly to the lower A. This is only a microscopic window into a part of the technique found in this exercise but certainly in this example there is very subtle difference between playing this right or wrong. Gradual movements are difficult to observe when playing pieces because a rushed movement can be controlled and mastered even thought it isn't as efficient as a gradual movement.

Sometimes bad technique is not about hand form or moving smoothly but rather moving unnecessarily. In all music we have chunks of notes which can be played without moving the hands position. I call them movement groups and often circle them on the score if a student moves unnecessarily when playing the group.

Thus we can see music like this:

[Movement group] --->movement to next movement group [Movement group] --->Movement to next movement group etc

If there are problems in a movement group it is because of fingering, if there are problems in the movement to another movement group it is because of inability to control the shape of one movement group and altering to the other in a smooth motion. This is very general stuff and has branches touching many different aspects of playing your instrument, but it's the basic thought process going on when determining how to initially physically tackle a phrase of music.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/15/19 07:29 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
marginalised perspectives

Yes, my perspective is "marginalized" because you write so many useless words, and my words get shoved to the margins. Is that what you mean?

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
band of minorities

Look around, buddy. YOU are clearly in the minority.

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
useful knowledge.

You may have "useful" knowledge (useful to whom, I don't know), but you don't know how to share ideas properly. Cutting and pasting ideas is _N_O_T_ sharing ideas. Drowning out people's advice is _N_O_T_ sharing ideas. Typing endlessly is _N_O_T_ sharing ideas.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 12:23 AM

Originally Posted by TimR
When I used to drive on the Autobahn we had a saying: If you see one Geistfahrer, dodge them and you're probably okay; when you see a hundred, there's a problem. Relevance to this scenario is obvious.

It's not often I learn a new German word. So it seems that a Geisterfahrer is someone who is driving west on an eastbound lane. Is there an English word for this?
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 02:07 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR
When I used to drive on the Autobahn we had a saying: If you see one Geistfahrer, dodge them and you're probably okay; when you see a hundred, there's a problem. Relevance to this scenario is obvious.

It's not often I learn a new German word. So it seems that a Geisterfahrer is someone who is driving west on an eastbound lane. Is there an English word for this?


I'd say "wrong way driver." I've also seen it hyphenated "wrong-way driver."

Wikipedia also refers to a colloquial term "ghost driving" but I've never heard that, and wouldn't know what it meant without context.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 03:40 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
marginalised perspectives

Yes, my perspective is "marginalized" because you write so many useless words, and my words get shoved to the margins. Is that what you mean?

Nope, I see marginalized perspectives on here people who respond offtopic and do not contend with the content of the work I am writing about. If you can't or don't want to deal with what I write you don't have to respond on this thread. Sure it takes very little knowledge and intelligence to argue about other things like the length of my posts or make guesses about me personally, but I wonder what the use of that all is? I've said many times it will not make me stop, it don't bother me, I find it funny that people who don't like this thread keep responding though.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
band of minorities

Look around, buddy. YOU are clearly in the minority.

Any of us posting on here are the minority, the majority are silent readers only. If the majority of pianoworld are people who merely write about things offtopic and cry and complain is that a good thing? I would hope you think that you are a minority when you do such things. I have had personal pms from people who are reading this thread telling me to continue as what they read from me is valuable, I also have had a number of users write on this very thread with appreciation, all of them outweigh the small number of vocal irrelevant replies to this thread, those who don't like this thread but can't seem to get away from it. Masochists?

Originally Posted by AZNpiano

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
useful knowledge.

You may have "useful" knowledge (useful to whom, I don't know), but you don't know how to share ideas properly. Cutting and pasting ideas is _N_O_T_ sharing ideas. Drowning out people's advice is _N_O_T_ sharing ideas. Typing endlessly is _N_O_T_ sharing ideas.

Just because you don't understand doesn't mean much at all have you actually made any attempt to contented with anything I wrote and ask quesitons? I'm sure a grade 1 student also wouldn't understand what I write, I am writing this in a teachers forum where those who are here should be on average be accustomed to reading. If people don't understand thats fine I am not going to dumb things down or write less. I have interacted with anyone who has asked questions and given their own ideas throughout this thread, whether we agree or not is not an issue. Tall poppy syndrome could be an issue though when I post detailed posts, please don't feel threatened.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 04:35 AM

Building up work habits:

How difficult is it to start to do something every day that is out of your normal routine? Of the many students I have taught over the years I find that improving students work habits are one of the more difficult achievements. Students that work consistently make the most grounds. I find some just love the act of learning new things and mastering old skills, they are strongly knowledge/achievement driven. There are some who love music so much so that the passionate/spiritual connection they have with the music drives them to work hard at it. A few are motivated to do well because of the money/material they can make from it. Then there are some who are forced into a strict regime often set by the parents but of course not excluding the examination student or music major who must abide by a syllabus or just a personal drive.

I find that not all my students necessarily fall into ONE group or the other, there often is a combination of motivations encouraging them to work consistently, I find these ones make the best progress. As a teacher I can sense what motivations are more important to the student and often I need to make decisions as to whether or not they need to improve upon that or add to it.

For example: an excited student telling me that they need to learn a piece (which is too difficult for them) simply because they "love it". As a teacher in my mind I need to work out whether or not they are serious when they say they "love" the piece, are they really willing to work hard or do they just want to hack their way through it and have a brief messy affair with the piece? Often I will let the student learn the piece but it never becomes a main focus of the lesson, we will do bits and pieces only. If they are really serious they will learn easier pieces which will build them to be able to play the piece they love with less problems.

Some students are very determined though and insist in playing a piece too difficult for them so I take them through the process. A few times we have achieved wonderful results but most of the times they are left with difficulty upon difficulty and they cannot cope with the amount of practice/progress required or cannot deal with the slow learning curve. I find at this instance when they realize the work they love is too difficult/inefficient for them to learn they then need to have other motivations to learn, I am yet to find a student then being so stubborn to not take my advice to learn something easier which still interests them and build towards their goal. Most of the student "get it" that they need to build up to their goal and thus we change their short term source for motivation. As the teacher I allowed them to "test the waters" of the piece they love I showed them the amount of work required to do it service (or to play it at all!), once they realized they have been too ambitious they then make changes in what drives their motivation. I feel it is important that try first at least, I find most students need that, just to try it, fail, then work out how to get there with the teachers assistance. No longer are they simply playing to learn a piece they love, but they are excited as they work towards being able to finally play the pieces they love, there lies a big difference. It is not a good idea to keep it from them completely though, I have had transfer students who begged me to try a particular piece that their last teacher refused to teach them, it is just something that nags on their mind constantly. Even if their last teacher was correct in assessing that it was too much of a leap forward to try it we do have to get it out of their system and let them, I have actually been suprised sometimes by unexpected success, some actually get through tough pieces well as they stretch their capabilities, the majority of the times this doesn't happen but we have to test it out to see in what way it will build them up.

It is not surprising that I find that many young students like to get rewards, stickers or prizes! It is not bad to give these to your young students at least they get a sense of achievement and a sticker to a child is worth a lot don't you remember? But as they grow up this sort of thing gets old. I find after a while this system of giving rewards becomes less effective at motivating a student to do work, its "luster and shine" wears down. The student needs to find a stronger motivation to do well with their piano (or anything else for that matter). If I as a teacher cannot encourage the student to make that connection with their music then they will never progress. I still give presents to my older students when they complete some large project, exam, competition, performance etc these are not so much for motivating them to learn but as my token of appreciation for their achievement.

The cultural background and involvement of parents in young students is also an important factor determining work ethic. I think we are a reflection of our parents in some respect. My Chinese students for example are generally quite hard workers because many parents believe if a child is not working hard and sweating they are not working hard enough. I am half Chinese and from knowing many Chinese families of my own (and my students) I find that more Chinese kids are brought up with a more strict work ethic than Caucasian families on average. So because we see a lot of excellent Chinese musicians is not only because there are a lot of us out there but because of the pressure to achieve and work hard instilled at a young age. As teachers dealing with students who are not brough up in this way we can also build inroads into their work ethic, it is a very long processes though but sometimes if there is no support elsewhere in the students life to do such things it can be a real uphill battle. Setting them up to succeed is essential when building up work habits, small improvements which are doable and achievable and then building upon that ever so slightly over time.

One case which taught me a lot about building work habits was this one young girl I taught and before we started our first lesson her guardian took me aside and said that she was a problem child, very disobedient in the schooling system, is sent to headmaster often for bad behaviour, is in the child protection service, has many behavioural issues etc etc. I was told if she was abusive or rude to me to let them know immediately, they sat outside of the studio and waited for lessons to end. I knew immediately that this young child was used to failure, was used to being told "No! Don't!" etc etc. So I made it my goal not to say these things, give no negative feedback only positive, give her an experience that she never dealt with before. Only build her up and never break her down which was extremely challenging.

She was a crazy student at first, she spat while she talked on purpose to try and get a reaction from me, she would try to slam the piano lid down, she would contort herself on the piano stool and make all sorts of weird noises, all sorts of things to be naughty. She expected me in that first lesson to "tell on her" or to reprimand her as she was so used to but I didn't because I knew she was used to this kind of thing it would have no effect. I would only offer positive commentary and any attempt to do what I asked for on the piano was met with a lot of joy and positive feedback. I introduced lollies and stickers for her good work efforts, it made her focus a great deal though she would still play up now and then, I would still give her a reward at the end of each lesson and say she did very well even if I thought she could have done better. I had to be very aware not to give negative feedback because this child was so used to it and it has no effect anymore so I only gave positive ones even when she behaved badly or resisted a task I would say things and exaggerate positive feedback like "I know you are a good girl and can do it, you are really good at the piano! Some students can't do as well as you when they try this. " Where with a normal functioning child I may say things to challenge them like "You know one of my students much younger than you in kindergarten managed to do this, I wonder if you can do better?"

Being given only positive feedback to help build her work habits she transformed into something totally different over time. It also had effect on her normal schooling as her confidence was built up in her piano lessons and that she was valuable and worthy of learning. I never once told her off even though I could have done it hundreds of times though the way in which I told her off was more subtle and kind. I would start to challenge her more and more in directing her attention saying things like "I was very impressed with how you did this last week I wonder if you can do the same today?" "Oh that almost was as good as last week, lets try one more time" etc. Or when I gave her a reward at the end of the lesson I would say things like "You did very well today but you could have got a little more if ...... but don't worry next time you will do it I am sure!" The positive feedback still was related to her efforts and nothing externally. This all however had to be done carefully and mindfully, you have to know if what you are saying is penetrating into their mind or simply a comment that is in one ear and out the other. Her guardian was in tears one day telling me with how well she did when she played at a student concert at school and how much confidence it gave her and how surprised others were that she could do it. The postiive feedback for her efforts extended to getting it from other people also who appreciated her hard work.
Posted By: outo

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 04:45 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
marginalised perspectives

Yes, my perspective is "marginalized" because you write so many useless words, and my words get shoved to the margins. Is that what you mean?

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
band of minorities

Look around, buddy. YOU are clearly in the minority.


So often the majority gang up against the minorities and should be ashamed of how they behave. Since this is the teacher's forum I guess I do not belong here and at the moment I am glad I do not!
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 05:00 AM

Originally Posted by outo
So often the majority gang up against the minorities and should be ashamed of how they behave.

Ashamed???? You ought to choose your words more wisely. Just exactly what "shameful" behavior do you speak of?

Originally Posted by outo
Since this is the teacher's forum I guess I do not belong here and at the moment I am glad I do not!

Then why are you writing anything at all? Do you enjoy standing up for the minority, even when the minority is obviously wrong?

This majority/minority argument is a straw man.
Posted By: outo

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 05:16 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by outo
So often the majority gang up against the minorities and should be ashamed of how they behave.

Ashamed???? You ought to choose your words more wisely. Just exactly what "shameful" behavior do you speak of?

Originally Posted by outo
Since this is the teacher's forum I guess I do not belong here and at the moment I am glad I do not!

Then why are you writing anything at all? Do you enjoy standing up for the minority, even when the minority is obviously wrong?

This majority/minority argument is a straw man.


I only post on this thread because it seems to be ok to stray off topic and attack the OP for the WAY he writes instead of discussing his actual arguments and explanations. I do not have time to read all his posts, but I read enough to see it's not just mindless babble, but well thought ideas, whether you agree with them or not.. If people already decided his posts are not worth reading or discussing and the op's style really bothers then that much, why come here at all? Just do not click on the thread and let those people who want to continue the discussion.

If you really think everything posted here by others than op is just fine and good behavior, then I just admit I am lacking and do not understand some piano teacher's mentality.
Posted By: AprilE

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 05:51 AM

I have to agree, Outo. I haven’t been able to figure out why those who have no interest in LiW's posts don’t simply not bother with the thread. Why keep coming back? No one is required to read or respond and I do think there have been some unconstructive and rude responses.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 06:34 AM

Critique is very very much encouraged but the type that doesn't deal with the information shared in a constructive manner is quite useless. I am not one to ever be bullied out of a forum post I've dealt with all sorts of people who try to supress those who are different from them online and in person, that is why perhaps these irrelevant posts are continuing as if it were a game to see who cracks first. In real life I have stood up to bullies and protected the weak many many times and thus became a target as well for their destructive behaviour, I welcome it, pick on someone who can stand up for themselves!

I wonder why some people try to strangle difference if they do not personally connect to it, coming from a pianoforum which is supposed to celebrate differences and creativity that is a real conundrum. Sitting in a room practicing piano is certainly a marginalized activity, playing piano is certainly not very popular these days, you would expect teachers and students of music would embrace what they percieve as different.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 05:26 PM

Using Kindness to build up.

Kindness is the currency of change and in lessons need to come from both how the teacher treats the student and how the student treats themselves. The teacher needs to be aware of the feelings they are generating in their students as they transfer change and knowledge over to them. The teacher also has to be aware of what the students think of themselves. We should avoid being harsh and stern with our students and I am sure we all know the teachers we came across who were authoritarians and scared you into education. We need to learn how to be soft and then a kind of firmness will exist in our teaching which is quite irresistible and causes great change. "Sugar catches more flies than vinegar." We also need to ensure our students don't feel negatively about themselves and help build their self worth and their confidence/pride in their abilities to learn.

We need to draw their attention to the steps of progress that they can achieve easily. It is very easy to overwhelm the students with the amount of improvement or work they really do need to go through. We need to provide easily achievable goals they can complete before our next lesson and we must ensure they are focused to solve these and know that it can be solved sooner rather than later.

"How" to achieve the small goals needs to be well understood because once there is confidence in the "how" then the work will be a lot easier and attractive for them and they will be encouraged to practice. Teachers aim to provide details that make personal sense to the student and is at their level as to "how" to improve, this makes the practice easy and doable and everyone likes activities that they can predominantly do successfully. We need to take time to go through their practice method to make sure they feel confident in the particular process of improvement that we prescribe them and what its purpose is and a sense of its timeline to completion (usually it should be completed in lessons from start to finish and then they merely have to continue that process on their own until the next lesson though for more experienced diligent students this process can summarized and specific points they need to be pay attention to revealed, then they can be trusted to work on their own). This will help us abandon ever saying to our students the generalized response "Practice hard" or "Give it time" which to me merely leave the students feeling uncertain and prone to brute force mindless practice.

As teachers we need to be a source of constant motivation and always present a belief in our students whether they win or lose. We need to be excited over the seemingly small wins that our students achieve, we need to modify our perspective to match how our student is seeing the work. We must be wary not to feel less encouraged by their seemingly small progress or poor progess, we need to be naturally interested in our students because we are seeing it from their point of view and we always want them to win, we are cheering them on. We need to also be a source of confidence, being always positive if they fail or do things poorly.

It is not a perfect world and all teachers have experience a situation where you will set some work which went well during lessons but then later on the student doesn't apply themselves. If a student struggles with practicing on their own we need to make things easier and easier for them so they get back into that realm of success and not break them down by mentioning their lack of practice. Just get on with the job and cheer them on, create an environment where they are set up to win.

We really need to remove from our vocab "You didn't practice enough" we may know very well that this may be the issue but we need to be kind enough to resist that kind of response, we need to be totally on their side. Some teachers may have "tongue in cheek" because they wonder how can we then get the students to understand practice is important if we don't pull them into line when they don't practice? As soon as we take out of our habits the need to critique their lack of practice we will then come up with more creative ways to help them and it always starts with us reevaluating and then setting them up to win. That is the kindness we need to use and its effect is much more powerful than a hardened approach.

We also need to be kind enough not to make them feel that we are "dumbing it down" for them. We need to constantly reassure them that if something isn't working or becomes too difficult that it is a normal situation for everyone and they should not think any less of themselves. I find though as students feel that we may be dumbing things down this can encourage them to work harder so that they can prove they don't have to do things that seem so easy. That gives us inroads into increasing the workload but we must ensure that they still feel confident with what we give them.

Some may worry that some younger students may become very lazy and simply wish to remain in this simple realm where they don't have much work and can complete it so easily. Sure a young students short term view may take advantage of this all but it will not last the long term, from my experience it never has unless I miss that they hate music and are forced into it which in that case your attention needs to work on that issue first. Don't fear that in the short term they may take advantage of it, let them feel like they are cheating the system and getting the easy way out, eventually that joy will vanish and you can slowly build up the amount of work they need to deal with without them really noticing it. We need to allow them that experience and then work with it and build up different attitudes. It is also good to negotiate with these type of students how much work they think they can get through, let them be a part of that process and build their expectations and confidence of what they truthfully can manage themselves. This also applies to adult students who may be negative about their capabilities.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 08:00 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR
When I used to drive on the Autobahn we had a saying: If you see one Geistfahrer, dodge them and you're probably okay; when you see a hundred, there's a problem. Relevance to this scenario is obvious.

It's not often I learn a new German word. So it seems that a Geisterfahrer is someone who is driving west on an eastbound lane. Is there an English word for this?


Not that I know of. Surely it is more common in the US, where driver education is much less rigorous. But apparently it is common enough in Germany that it has a term, and in fact I've actually heard the warning given over the radio stations.

On the one hand the German drivers tend to be highly skilled, and on the other the Autobahn entrances and exits (where the heck is this Ausfahrt, anyway, and who would name a town that) can be confusing. I was reviewing expense claims from one of my German employees, and he had claimed 110 km more in one direction than the other, going and returning from training. He was a bit embarrassed to admit he got on the Autobahn going the wrong direction and had nowhere to turn around. Yup, been there done that.

My own story of confusion: I was totally lost in a maze of streets, until I saw one I recognized - Einbahnstrasse. That did not prove as helpful as I initially hoped.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 08:07 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR
When I used to drive on the Autobahn we had a saying: If you see one Geistfahrer, dodge them and you're probably okay; when you see a hundred, there's a problem. Relevance to this scenario is obvious.

It's not often I learn a new German word. So it seems that a Geisterfahrer is someone who is driving west on an eastbound lane. Is there an English word for this?


Oh. and thank you for correcting my spelling. I think I had only heard it spoken and never saw it written, and didn't realize it had another syllable.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 09:42 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Oh. and thank you for correcting my spelling. I think I had only heard it spoken and never saw it written, and didn't realize it had another syllable.

Actually it's only because I had to look it up, and that's what came up under the Google suggestions. The question of equivalent term in English came naturally because my current profession is as a translator. You want every translation to sound as "native" as possible, while conveying the entire meaning, and if a concept does not exist in the other language / country it gets interesting. German may use a noun "Geisterfahrer" and a person may be convicted of being a Geisterfahrer" or maybe of 'Geisterfahrung" if that exists, but English might say "convicted of driving the wrong direction" and be more verb-oriented. Looking for equivalents becomes an ingrained habit.

The look at meanings of words also becomes philosophical, because you realize how much of this symbol system called words is tied up with concepts that an entire society holds, and whether this also influences thinking itself - chicken or egg.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 09:47 PM

Back to the thread itself, and the common OT of this thread:

I do not entirely agree with the Geisterfahrer concept, if it means some kind of common group-think. Forums do often tend to go that way. The trend over time is for their be commonly held concepts, philosophies, a kind of bland average. As a result, thinking and knowledgeable people gradually drift away. This kind of school-of-fish swimming does not appeal to me.

Otoh, if communicating, you must also put yourself into the mindset of your interlocutors so as to be understood. Conversation also has hidden conventions, and when they are not understood, you can get friction or just puzzlement. Going back to language: It is an imperfect and crude set of symbols together with patterns meant to convey the world and thought, which are much more intricate. It is surprising how much actually does manage to get conveyed, and sometimes it isn't. smile
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/16/19 11:04 PM

Originally Posted by TimR

My own story of confusion: I was totally lost in a maze of streets, until I saw one I recognized - Einbahnstrasse. That did not prove as helpful as I initially hoped.


Ah yes. I have heard stories of LDS missionaries canvassing on Einbahnstrasse!

We reached an equally incorrect conclusion while driving in Bulgaria, passing dozens of signs that said Varna, which we thought meant "Exit" or "East" but is in fact the name of a city to the east, requiring an exit of the freeway, so partial credit for decoding context at high speed and in Cyrillic.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 02:16 AM

Originally Posted by keystring


I do not entirely agree with the Geisterfahrer concept, if it means some kind of common group-think. smile


Yes, I agree, and I was a bit less than explicit with that example.

Here's what I meant. If one of us is having trouble LiW's exposition of his "wisdom," it might be us or him. If you see one Geisterfahrer, you're not sure if you're the wrong driver or the other is.

If a large number of Geisterfahren appear, you have to at least consider the possibility that the fault might be yours. Similarly, if a large number of commenters find difficulty with LiWs presentation, he should at least consider the very very remote possibility that some fault exists in either his presentation or his content. Judging from the past 15 years of his posts on pianostreet, this is not just unlikely but impossible.

My biggest complaint about his posts on this thread is neither the length of his posts nor the inchoate nature of them, but the contempt he shows for the knowledge and skills of the regular teachers here. I have huge respect for the professionalism of the regulars here, and learn something every time I visit. I cannot comprehend coming here to instruct them as if they were children, it's unimaginable.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 02:29 AM

Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by TimR
When I used to drive on the Autobahn we had a saying: If you see one Geistfahrer, dodge them and you're probably okay; when you see a hundred, there's a problem. Relevance to this scenario is obvious.

It's not often I learn a new German word. So it seems that a Geisterfahrer is someone who is driving west on an eastbound lane. Is there an English word for this?


I'd say "wrong way driver." I've also seen it hyphenated "wrong-way driver."

Wikipedia also refers to a colloquial term "ghost driving" but I've never heard that, and wouldn't know what it meant without context.



Oh, NOW I get it. The google "ghost driving" is a literal translation of the German,
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 03:49 AM

Originally Posted by TimR
[quote=keystring]
Similarly, if a large number of commenters find difficulty with LiWs presentation, he should at least consider the very very remote possibility that some fault exists in either his presentation or his content. Judging from the past 15 years of his posts on pianostreet, this is not just unlikely but impossible.

My biggest complaint about his posts on this thread is neither the length of his posts nor the inchoate nature of them, but the contempt he shows for the knowledge and skills of the regular teachers here. I have huge respect for the professionalism of the regulars here, and learn something every time I visit. I cannot comprehend coming here to instruct them as if they were children, it's unimaginable.

You have no evidence that I have contempt for the knowledge and skills of other teachers here, that is an absolutely false and rather rude accusation. Quote me in one passage which supports this ridiculous claim. What are you doing doing on my thread if you disagree with it so? I know you are probably Tim from pianostreet also, are you hurt that I am now occasioning pianoworld? You do not engage on my threads on pianostreet but now on pianoworld all of a sudden? Is it because this is your private playground? Please! Thanks for keeping my post bumped up though, appreciated ^_^
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 04:13 AM

What tools can we build up that are helpful for music development? Other than the relationship with the student which I have written about in detail several times I would like to list out other principles that should be built up at all levels of piano study. These points help develop the ability to formulate an efficient approach to musical study.

I: [Types of memory]
Identifying the three types of memory and knowing when one is using it.

Conscious: Visual and logical observations of the sheet music and keyboard that aid sight reading and encourage Muscular memory.

Muscular: Producing a group of notes with a relaxed movement of our hands.

Sound: How the sound in our minds eye effects muscular and conscious memory.

II: [Observing pattern]
See, hear and use pattern observation in music to improve sight reading, memory and performance of a score. How to one drill a passage of music mindfully instead of brute force repetitions. How to mark/highlight/color and section sheet music to highlight observations.

III: [Using building blocks of music]
Knowledge of the building blocks of music including; scales, chords and arpeggios and how to observe their pattern, shape,form and sound. How observing pattern allows us to learn more of the piece simultaneously. Here one can learn generic fingering ideas which can be applied to music or transformed slightly.

IV: [Listening to ourself and others]
Observations made when listening to how ourselves and others express music. How to listen, assess, take note of and make changes to what we are producing while playing.

V: [Hand movement and rest]
Understanding when the hand has to move and when it should remain about a single position. These can be considered as “Movement Groups”. Manipulations of controlled pausing in between movement groups to practice “difficult” sections. Coordination issues such as syncopation (x notes against y), rhythmic accenuation, phrasing etc. Studying the art of fingering and how to determine the best fingers to use in a given passage and reasonings for it.

VI: [Reading music]
How to read sheet music and how to make improvements to speed, accuracy and “difficulty” of what we can fluently sight read. The multiple ways in which you can study sight reading. This also closely studies the art of fingering as with good fingering reading becomes easier.

VII: [General knowledge of piano]
An appreciation of major classical composers for the keyboard (Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt etc) and various piano styles (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Jazz, Blues, Ragtime etc). How a piano is built and functions.

VIII: [Discipline and organization]
How to increase your rate of learning, knowing ones technical/musical strengths and limitations, how to set long, medium and short term goals. Estimating the time it takes to memorize a piece and measuring/increasing your memorization rate.

IX: [Physical posture]
How one sits at the keyboard and the various positions for our hands given the musical context. What is an efficient technique and how do we improve our technical efficiency. The logic behind fingering choices.


Of all of these I feel that Disicpline is one of the hardest thing to develop because it asks you to change the way you live your life. I believe that discipline with respect to music is effected by your circumstances, your environment, your reason for life. Most people treat music as merely a hobby, a curiosity, something that is interesting to do to waste some of your time, they cannot connect to it and relate it to their life as a whole thus they will never approach it as seriously as they could if they changed the perspective of their life (this is of course may seem impossible for some people to even consider, they might have a family to raise, a high demand job etc etc).

Learning musical instruments clearly separates people depending on their discipline. Talent is not so important ultimately when studying music it is the ability to power ahead with persistence and determination that can make you a great musician. This means that everyone has to create a time table to work off if they want to approach their music seriously, music has to "hip and shoulder" a dedicated space into your daily routine not simply be fit in where it can.

We actively have to make a change to our daily routine to make a commitment to our music if we want to improve upon our disciplined approach. Too many people simply fit music in-between something or at the end of something, it takes a very low priority in their daily schedule. Many people would immediately improve upon their approach to music if they simply give it more importance to their daily routine. This is of course asking a lot for some people who would like to study music but lead very busy lives. You do not have to perhaps do it daily but give yourself some more time to it, stop just fitting it in comfortably when it suits yourself.

I find some people can never improve upon this because music is just not important enough for them. To some it is very important but they simply cannot deal with the amount of work that they have to get through to achieve the baby steps toward mastery. Some people need to understand how to dream, how to set goals, how to work towards something. Dreams need to be big, too many people forget how to dream, they forget how to excite themselves with great aspirations, they become pessimistic thinking about the work, about their failures, about the challenges that lie ahead, they "aim for the trees and hit themselves in the foot" instead of "aiming for the stars and hitting the moon". People worry themselves so much that they are not willing to risk to take the first step!

This is certainly a very interesting topic to discuss and I have learnt a lot of it from my father who is director of multi billion dollar engineering projects, the organization, goal setting, time management etc etc, extremely important tools which is multi disciplinary. I found it amazing how someone in engineering management can give advice on musical study and it certainly gave me an interesting perspective on musical study from another disciplinary viewpoint. A second source for inspiration was from Professor Fiona Walls from the Townsville University, who I taught for a number of years when she was professor at Murdoch University in West Australia (she does research on teaching and has published many papers). Our discussions on the need for actual world experience with a subject when teaching was invaluable. For example with students of piano you may be shocked to realize that many of them have never actually attended a piano solo concert. This is a big part of their education that is missing, people think that videos and recordings substitute this but it does not as our senses are effected differently in a live performance than in a reproduction. So I discuss a lot about experiencing music and attaching that to our disciplined approach to music. Go out and see art work, go out and watch live perfomers of all types, read about the history of the countries that the composers lived, go out into nature and see what inspired some musicians to write about certain elements of it etc etc. Actively making this a disciplined part of your approach to music will certainly boost your motivation to practice music more in your quiet private space.

Posted By: outo

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 04:16 AM

If we are to discuss LiW online personality here, I must add that I have had my disagreements with him in the past. He's a stubborn one surely, but does not seem to be a kind that holds a grudge afterwards.

Sometimes this place (the forums I visit) shows a preference for similar minded people and also the discussion culture is more of the kind common in US. Since I come from a different background (as does LiW) I do not always feel like I belong. I just try to behave and not ruffle feathers too much... With more or less success wink
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 04:20 AM

Originally Posted by outo
If we are to discuss LiW online personality here, I must add that I have had my disagreements with him in the past. He's a stubborn one surely, but does not seem to be a kind that holds a grudge afterwards.

Sometimes this place (the forums I visit) shows a preference for similar minded people and also the discussion culture is more of the kind common in US. Since I come from a different background (as does LiW) I do not always feel like I belong. I just try to behave and not ruffle feathers too much... With more or less success wink


I don't hold grudges people can have a bad day and good days that is to be expected you can, Im sure all those who are complaining about my thread if they met me in person and talked piano with me would sing a different tune. This topic is very interesting to me and I want to share ideas that I have learned from over 2 decades of teaching, more people appreciate it than not. I freely give my information and really will not stop giving it away just because some minorities don't like the way I write. Maybe they can pay me and I will write it in a form that they approve of smile

I could post all the appreciation I've ever got and the people I have networked with who got appreciated my writing, there is some 15 years of that I could share but they pm me on purpose because they don't want to be in the public view and why should I boast with that? If people take their time to message me privately and then converse with me in private over several years about my posts then to me this is a good sign that what I am doing is useful for them and probably many others who are merely readers of forums. Even on this thread you will see people post appreciation, so it is not like these loud minorities who post continutally respresent the majority, post count certainly doesn't mean anything, content of writing does, we just have to test what people say and deal with their words to see the worth. Those who cry about my thread do they really assist people in learning more about music?
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 11:54 AM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

What are you doing doing on my thread if you disagree with it so?


It is not your thread. The whole forum has an owner and it isn't you.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 01:19 PM

Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

What are you doing doing on my thread if you disagree with it so?


It is not your thread. The whole forum has an owner and it isn't you.

Semantics, it is my thread in the sense that if I wasn't born it would have never existed. The question still remains why anyone would be a part of my thread if it annoys them so and to a point where they have to start making up lies about how I interact here?
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 01:38 PM

Would you like it better if no one responded?
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 01:43 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by TimR


My biggest complaint about his posts on this thread is neither the length of his posts nor the inchoate nature of them, but the contempt he shows for the knowledge and skills of the regular teachers here.

You have no evidence that I have contempt for the knowledge and skills of other teachers here, that is an absolutely false and rather rude accusation.


I will answer your objection in the hope you might read it.

There are two ways you show disrespect for your audience.

One is to be sloppy with your presentation. Your essays would not get a passing grade in even a high school writing class. When you are trying to impart knowledge, make the effort to write clearly and logically - anything less shows disrespect for the listeners/readers. If you were lecturing in a class on any subject, you could not get away with this free form spew of whatever pops into your mind - you would start with a thesis statement and an outline, and proceed from major points to lesser. Now, in a conversation on a forum nobody insists on spelling, grammar, even clear thought, because most of us are here for the interaction or for the solution of a discrete problem. But you're not interested in a conversation, you are interested only in educating us. But you don't make the effort to do a good job at it. Even your supporters admit they haven't been able to read all the way through your posts.

The second mode of disrespect is to come to a group of experienced successful teachers and assume they don't know even the simplest basics like "be nice to students." There are a very few regulars who hang out here who are not piano teachers, but the vast majority of members have more experience than you. Your experience on pianostreet might not prepare you for a forum as homogenous as this one, but it would not take much reading here to understand the make up of the members.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 02:34 PM

I'm still in part sorting out / understanding the kerfuffle part of this thread. I just read the latest article that starts:
Originally Posted by LostinIdleWonder
What tools can we build up that are helpful for music development? Other than the relationship with the student which I have written about in detail several time.......

The style and content, as with many of the others, make me ask: Are you intending all this for novice teachers entering the profession?
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 02:41 PM

Originally Posted by TimR

There are two ways you show disrespect for your audience.

One is to be sloppy with your presentation. Your essays would not get a passing grade in even a high school writing class.

On pianoworld you cannot edit your posts however after a certain time so it will be left with errors. I am posting freely and writing in a relaxed style, I am not uploading to https://arxiv.org/ or writing a detailed document in perfect form. You still have not given any examples merely spewing forth more of your opinion.


Originally Posted by TimR

When you are trying to impart knowledge, make the effort to write clearly and logically - anything less shows disrespect for the listeners/readers.

I'm sorry it is impossible to write in a style that everyone will approve of. You already don't like long posts so the only way to make it relevant to you is to cut 90% of my writing down which I won't do. So I will miss the attention of people like yourself but that doesn't bother me at all. Those who have time to read will read. Those who don't understand will ask me questions all of which I will respond to and have thoughout this thread. Peoples interactions with me in these instances have not been met with confusion at all, there is evidence in the first few pages of this thread to prove that if you don't want to read through everything.

Originally Posted by TimR

If you were lecturing in a class on any subject, you could not get away with this free form spew of whatever pops into your mind - you would start with a thesis statement and an outline, and proceed from major points to lesser.

All my posts are relevant to the opening post which is quite an open issue as to how to build up a student without breaking them down. I am not talking about random issues that are popping into my mind, it is all about piano education and learning. Again you failed to quote me anywhere.

Originally Posted by TimR

Now, in a conversation on a forum nobody insists on spelling, grammar, even clear thought, because most of us are here for the interaction or for the solution of a discrete problem. But you're not interested in a conversation, you are interested only in educating us.

I am not posting to educate people or have a conversation or anything at all. I am a piano teacher with decades of experience and want to share my wisdom that I have got from teaching hundreds of students for some 40-50 hours every week 6 days a week. I am offering my insights for free and don't care what anyone does with is, whether they want to be educated, or in your case feel threatened and angry loloool, whatever they want to do with it is their responsbility. Why would I want to post with the sole purpose to educate people?? I educate people in the real world why would I need an outlet here to do it more? The manner of this thread encourages people to respond if they want or just say nothing and just read what I want to share. I have posted plenty of threads which actually ask people question and suggestions, just because this is not one of those threads doens't mean that this is all the types of threads that I post. If people are educated I am pleased, I have people who private message me saying how interesting my posts are and how they have found value in it, so I will continue posting because I know from the large mass of people reading many will be able to take something from it. I wonder how much they take from you constantly complaining on my thread? Do you think they are learning much about music? lol.


Originally Posted by TimR

But you don't make the effort to do a good job at it. Even your supporters admit they haven't been able to read all the way through your posts.

Lol now you think you know every single supporter and know exactly what they do? Goodness me you must have spent a lot of time chasing people up and asking them all, and are you a hacker?? You can see who has messaged me and followed them up on this all??? Goodness!!! I don't need supporters anyway, I don't post to gain attention or to gain followers or to whatever whatever, I am posting just because I want to share information on a pianoforum. I don't get paid for it so what motivation do I have? Come on please, you think you know exactly how I function?? I am posting because piano is a great interest to me, it is enjoyable for me to write about it and I will continue doing so. I also find it funny people like yourself have to be so negative about it all lol. You'd much prefer I delete my account and no longer post I am sure. Or would you prefer I go to the school of TimR and learn to write in TimR style? That sounds too judgemental for my tastes though.

Originally Posted by TimR

The second mode of disrespect is to come to a group of experienced successful teachers and assume they don't know even the simplest basics like "be nice to students." There are a very few regulars who hang out here who are not piano teachers, but the vast majority of members have more experience than you. Your experience on pianostreet might not prepare you for a forum as homogenous as this one, but it would not take much reading here to understand the make up of the members.

You seem to have an overly large opinion of yourself that you know exactly the demographics of who reads these threads. There are all sorts of people reading threads like this, your anti knowledge attempt doesn't help them at all. I will continue to post how I like and if you don't like it thats just too bad, I will not change to satisfy you, I don't intend my writing to be appreciated by 100% of people and I acknowledge there will be a small minority who feel threatened and angry and need to post rubbish on this thread.

Still waiting for you to quote me, all the evidence you give is your opinion. Oh well.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 02:42 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
I'm still in part sorting out / understanding the kerfuffle part of this thread. I just read the latest article that starts:
Originally Posted by LostinIdleWonder
What tools can we build up that are helpful for music development? Other than the relationship with the student which I have written about in detail several time.......

The style and content, as with many of the others, make me ask: Are you intending all this for novice teachers entering the profession?

There are all sorts of people occasioning threads like this, so of course I will write for all sorts of people, I dont intend my writing to be interesting for all experience levels simultaneously at all times. Sometimes it is handy to list out common sense ideas because from them deeper ideas can be found.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 02:49 PM

Building up nervous students:

A good teacher cares about how comfortable their students are while playing in lessons. I have met so many students from all ability levels from the beginner to advanced who can quite scared to play for a teacher or anyone else. In our first lesson if I sense I have a nervous student I make it a number one priority to ensure that they feel that our interaction is very casual and relaxed, no judgment and pressure to perform at a high level, always offer reassurance and commend these students efforts no matter how they play and don't start correcting them. As time goes on never relate these students playing to a perfect top class model but instead relate it to how they have improved themselves this offers much more comfort and constructive comparisons to insecure students and encourages confidence in their playing as they will notice how they have improved. They already compare themselves with others and defeat themselves with that, we need to help build a path away from those type of comparisons.

I will come back to comparisons but would like to describe one way I see how nervous students can react in lessons. Some students who are extremely nervous try to do everything correct and make changes on the spot immediately so it all sounds right. You find that they apologize every time they make a inaccuracy and are super critical of themselves, they cannot relax. This clouds their thinking while playing for the teacher and stresses them out which limits the amount of correctives that the teacher can successfully work with.

Some nervous students often prefer to be given in the lesson the method as to how how to improve a passage then they would only like to use that to solve the problem on their own away from the lesson. Only once they have worked on it in private do they want to then come back to the teacher. They dread making mistakes in front of the teacher and reveal their rough process of improvement. We should encourage them to feel safe during the process of solving their challenges with the teacher and get a result in the lesson. We need to desensitize them to feel ok to make mistakes in front of others. This also is very relevant to students who are petrified with stage fright. They often have a lot of fear making a mistake in public as well as all the eyes/ears that are on them. This idea of perfection and that everything has to be perfect or you will be judged negatively needs to be dismantled, we are humans and we are full of errors. All great performers have had experience with errors on stage.

A teacher always has to be on the look out for these nervous student and ensure they are comfortable, notice every sigh, negative facial expression, body mannerism, uncomfortable shifting etc etc. It is different for everyone but a good teacher will get to know their students and know when/how to help them feel more confident.

So back to comparisons, consider when you see a young child on youtube play something at an incredibly high level (something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzeHEW2I0EY) Some of us are impressed, entertained, astounded and very inspired to see such things but others feel extremely negative and it actually can depresses them to see a young virtuoso do so well because it diminishes their own capabilities. It is quite therapeutic to watch these kind of videos together with students who think little of themselves and who compare themselves with others especially those who mention to you the amazing examples they have seen online. From my investigation doing this with some students it helps them open up about their insecurities and have someone to safely talk to them about it. Some videos we have watched they ask me to play exactly the same so I do and they are amazed to see it in person but I encourage them that the amount of work that goes behind it all makes it look like it might happen naturally but really it isn't. Some of these videos these kids practice a huge amount and are pushed hard by their parents. So digging into the reality of it all is important.

This pushes me to a point of "showing off for students" sometimes I get asked to play something impressive from my students to which I always oblige. One student who comes from Chile, in her mid 50's and a distant cousin of Claudio Arrau, plays piano wonderfully however she has health problems which limits her potential progress. She gets depressed almost when she hears me play, sits back reserved and says things like "I could never achieve that etc etc". I have to stop playing and tell her the reality of the situation, I practice every day and my work and private life revolves around piano. She plays beautifully what she can physically play, but when she observes the acrobatics you can do on the piano that she physically would not be able to achieve she seems to think that what she does is so much lesser musically which is totally wrong of course.

When I play for my students some start to put up barriers. They see a product of almost 35 years of piano practice and because it might be so far from where they are now they get overwhelmed by the distance they still have to go or whether they could even achieve that level themselves in their lifetime. Some of them who like piano very much listen to advanced music and aspire to learn it but when they see it played before they own eyes on a piano they start to understand how much they have to still go before even considering doing it themselves. Most students however I have found benefit from seeing their teacher perform for them, it might inspire them and open their ears to what the piano is capable of, but I have always had tongue in cheek when people draw motivation from the feats of other people rather than from their own personal endeavors (it is not to say that they can't develop their own personal path after initially wanting to aspire to what someone else has achieved).

This all helps students who negatively compare themselves with others by exposing them directly to comparison situations whether watching videos or watching the teacher or one of their top students perform, this is a very important lesson since it has a large effect on their psychology and energy to do work and their self worth.
Posted By: outo

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by TimR

Even your supporters admit they haven't been able to read all the way through your posts.


If you are referring to me, it's only because I am too busy to follow lengthy discussions at the moment, not because I am unable to read long texts...I do read books smile

I don't read other long posts either if they are not directed to me. Also I do not consider myself anyone's "supporter" here. I only ask for tolerance of diversity and good manners.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 02:54 PM

On the common OT of this thread:
I've been part of both sites - P.World and Street - from the onset. There is a slightly different discussion culture there. You will have more posts that are long-winded, general, lecture-style. it doesn't happen that often, but does happen. In fact, one reason I have visited both sites is because you get different types of things from both. The great majority, however, is where a teacher or a student or performer is asking a "how to" or "why" question. These questions might well be answered in a manner that is more long-winded and perhaps more intellectual there, than here.

What always seems to get a response on either side is a question posed in the teacher forum by a teacher, or in the student forum by a student. I'd like to point out that in recent times a teacher showed up who was trying to figure out communication styles in order to bring across his ideas, and deliberately adopted the "ask a question" style. You will probably remember the ones where we were to help figure out which of two students sounded better, or compare which of two performances by a student was better, and why. Responses came readily to begin with, because there is a culture of "teachers help other teachers". If LiW had come in asking for help with things, the initial reaction, by teachers, would have been better. However, this other example fell flat, because that teacher was not really asking for help, but instead was trying to present his teaching ideas; the dishonesty of that pose ruffled a lot of feathers, and there was some reaction since teachers saw other aspects of teaching (the idea was too one-sided) and there seemed to be the feeling (I think) that the teachers were all learners rather than aso contributors. I will propose that in the least, LiW is not putting on any kind of pose. He intends to present the info / ideas that he wants to present, and does exactly that with no poses or posturing.

Just some worked-late /woke-late still having coffee kick in - thoughts.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 03:18 PM

Originally Posted by keystring
On the common OT of this thread:
If LiW had come in asking for help with things, the initial reaction, by teachers, would have been better. However, this other example fell flat, because that teacher was not really asking for help, but instead was trying to present his teaching ideas; the dishonesty of that pose ruffled a lot of feathers, and there was some reaction since teachers saw other aspects of teaching (the idea was too one-sided) and there seemed to be the feeling (I think) that the teachers were all learners rather than aso contributors. I will propose that in the least, LiW is not putting on any kind of pose. He intends to present the info / ideas that he wants to present, and does exactly that with no poses or posturing.

Personally I don't see why me sharing my insights into teaching should be taken as "dishonest" or cause feathers to be ruffled. I guess there are insecure people who feel threatened by my large posts and need to complain rather than deal with ideas I have written. When I offer ideas I do so freely and without any strings attached, I don't need people to follow me and become my disciplines I don't require responses. Even though I don't need it I do welcome peoples questions though and their own constructive input whether they agree or disagree with me. First and foremost I want to share my ideas and let people use it or abuse it however they seem fit that is up to them. If there is debate I think that is good so long it is about the topics.

We also have no idea of all the type of people who read threads, their background, their situations etc, we don't kow who we reach and who we help out there. I am sure my posts have helped people think a little bit about piano education and study and many of these people I will never heard from, that's great and fine! I am of course glad to hear from people who enjoy my posts, I love private pms and will discuss much in depth there also as you know personally keystring. My pms are often just as long as my posts online so I don't do this for attention seeking at all just for those few who might think so lol.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 03:36 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
When I play for my students some start to put up barriers. They see a product of almost 35 years of piano practice


This is intriguing.

According to your profile you were born in 1981, so you are 38, and have been practicing piano for 35 years.

That would imply you started at age 3. That seems a bit earlier than is common in my country - do you currently start students that young?
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 03:47 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
When I play for my students some start to put up barriers. They see a product of almost 35 years of piano practice


This is intriguing.

According to your profile you were born in 1981, so you are 38, and have been practicing piano for 35 years.

That would imply you started at age 3. That seems a bit earlier than is common in my country - do you currently start students that young?

I was 3 and was taught first by my father who is an excellent pianist himself I didn't have lessons with another teacher until I was around 6 which I think is the average age for most young kids to be ready for lessons. I have taught as young as 4 and it really does depends on the individual, usually by 6 they are all ready. Younger ages tend to benefit more from group lessons where they can learn about rhythm and beat and singing and play simple insturments all in a fun way. I have taught some young kids around 4 for 15 minutes or so after I teach their older brothers or sisters and we can build from there the length of lessons. I also started teaching piano in my teens just incase you are wondering that also, around 13, after I performed many concerts and won competitions around my area for several years, I was approached by people wanting lessons from me, also people from my neighborhood would knock on my door asking for lessons as they heard me practicing, I took them on of course good pocket money for a kid :P. I learned a lot about teaching from experience (and also from the several teachers I worked with) and then later on furthered my studies under the esteemed Professor Roger Wodward as one of his private students, he is one of the biggest names in Australian classical music.
Posted By: Dr. Rogers

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 04:10 PM

Originally Posted by TimR

That would imply you started at age 3. That seems a bit earlier than is common in my country - do you currently start students that young?


I can't speak for OP or OP's country, but here in the US, while perhaps rare, it is not unheard of. I started at age three, with my mother teaching me. At four I started with a dedicated piano teacher. I have taken on students as young as four - I had some that wound up reading music before they could read English! Whether or not a kid is ready at that age derives from a combination of factors including (but probably not limited to) desire to learn, suitable attention span, and parental support.
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 04:32 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I thought I would share this post as something teachers of all disciplines should meditate upon when dealing with their students and something students can consider to help them measure the relationship they have with their teacher. The original post can be found here: https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=65615.0


The best teachers I have come across not only in terms of music are those who have built me up first without breaking me down. This is the sign of the "good fruits" of a good teacher that they will build you up without dismantling your current abilities or make you feel a failure or that you have wasted your time in the past or that anything you learned in the past cannot help you in the future. They will meet you at your level and build you up.

A poor teacher will ignore your past and expect you to recreate yourself immediately and if you are unable you are left feeling a failure and it is all your fault. You feel guilty, stupid, useless, nothing is able to be built up because you are so distraught that what you had before is useless. The teacher will blame you for your inability to recreate yourself or keep up with their regieme, they are unbending in the way they teach if you cannot follow their method "to the t" then you simply are not worthy of improving. They ignore your personal journey, they have no sensitivity to connect with that.

A good teacher will appreciate your past and get to know you, they will be interested in how you function and what you do. They will not copy paste their ideas of mastery over the top of you. They actively work against your negative feelings about yourself, they build your morale up, they make you aware of your strenghts and use that to build you up further. They will not focus on your weaknesses and make you feel bad for having them, in the process of building you up and actually liking you for what you bring to the lesson, you will feel secure and relax into their advice and teaching.

As you relax into the relationship with your teacher you will be able to make changes and improve upon your weaknesses, not by smashing them down and forgetting about them, but by first building you up to such a point where then you are able to reevaluate your situation with more insight, more confidence, no more traps before you. You relax because they have built you up and you feel good, you have tasted the fruits of their good teaching and it has opened your mind in a kind, constructive manner with no sense of destruction or feelings of incompetance.


I haven’t read this entire thread, nor do I intend to, but I would offer an analogy to support the OP. I have taken tennis lessons intermittently over the years. Different instructors have different ideas as to what is correct. Differing opinions on grips, backhands, serving styles, strategies. When I take a lesson now, realizing I am the amalgamation of various teachers’ styles, it is counterproductive to start fresh with an entirely new style. I simply ask them to help me with what I’m having trouble with, or to tweak one or two things. I’m not interested in assuming their style; I don’t have the time or will and it would ruin my game for months, at which point I may be in a different location with a different pro.

Hope this helps support your position.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 05:13 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Personally I don't see why me sharing my insights into teaching should be taken as "dishonest" or cause feathers to be ruffled.....

Ok, this response suggests a problem that you are able to rectify if recognize it. You seem to have read my post in a hurry, and did not take time to understand it, and then taken on a defensive position of feeling attack. I was NOT writing about YOU, but about another teacher. You responded to what you thought I said, probably by skimming through and not checking. You took offensive to ruffled feathers, when the fact is that throughout this thread, feathers are being ruffled, whether or not they should be. The Notre Dame cathedral was on fire, whether or not it should be. Some problem is obviously happening in this thread. We cannot change others' behaviour, but if there is anything we ourselves can do, that is our control. It is possible that you are in "rapid send mode" and the receiving / hearing / listening mode isn't always where it should be. I don't know if that would improve things. But most factually, you just responded to something other than what was meant. That may be symptomatic.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 05:32 PM

Originally Posted by cmb13

I haven’t read this entire thread,


Don't feel bad, nobody has.

Quote
I have taken tennis lessons intermittently over the years. Different instructors have different ideas as to what is correct. Differing opinions on grips, backhands, serving styles, strategies. When I take a lesson now, realizing I am the amalgamation of various teachers’ styles, it is counterproductive to start fresh with an entirely new style.


It's not a binary choice though is it? A transfer student can come in so badly damaged the only way to move forward is start all over and build correctly. That's at one end. But in the middle there are flaws that will limit the potential, but may be acceptable in terms of your goals, as with your tennis game.

Some years back I had to play in a celebrity golf tournament. (obligations at work) I took a lesson from the local pro, who turned out to be very knowledgable. He told me my self taught swing was a high hands variation of single axis, and it could be tweaked to make playing more enjoyable, but it had limitations and could never be competitive. If I needed to be good I would have to start over and learn the conventional swing - but knowing my goals he didn't recommend putting the effort in. So we agreed on a couple of basic improvements to use with my faulty but usable swing, and he gave me some sources for understanding my motions.

Fast forward to now. I no longer play ball golf at all, but I do play disc golf, and now I have faults that limit my enjoyments. I'm working on some boring and frustrating fundamentals, and progress is s.l.o.w. I really have to learn all over.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 05:41 PM

Originally Posted by cmb13
I haven’t read this entire thread, nor do I intend to

Oh, I love this disclaimer.

I don't think anybody intends to read 100,000 words of rubbish, written by somebody who thinks EVERYONE is dumber than a toaster, and thinks he "owns" the thread.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 05:49 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
There are two ways you show disrespect for your audience

Actually, there is a third mode of disrespect:

The OP thinks people who don't read his verbiage are illiterate.
Posted By: cmb13

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/17/19 07:06 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by cmb13
I haven’t read this entire thread, nor do I intend to

Oh, I love this disclaimer.

I don't think anybody intends to read 100,000 words of rubbish, written by somebody who thinks EVERYONE is dumber than a toaster, and thinks he "owns" the thread.

Thanks ... I didn’t know how that would go over (thought I might hear something like ‘well mind your own business then’ lol).
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/18/19 06:43 AM

OOo I appreciate all this post bumping and feel very popular now on pianoworld ^___^ My very first thread here is so popular people can't resist posting on here to show their deep knowledge of music!!! Oh wait... they are not doing that ... oh thats a shame lol. Thanks for keeping me on top though!

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by cmb13
I haven’t read this entire thread, nor do I intend to

Oh, I love this disclaimer.

I don't think anybody intends to read 100,000 words of rubbish, written by somebody who thinks EVERYONE is dumber than a toaster, and thinks he "owns" the thread.

Please quote anywhere where I said ALL of this, this is just opinionative drivel. This thread is my thread, if it wasn't for me it wouldn't exist, gosh you still can't understand that? Lol!! Maybe some diagrams need?? lol

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by TimR
There are two ways you show disrespect for your audience

Actually, there is a third mode of disrespect:

The OP thinks people who don't read his verbiage are illiterate.

Another fantasy of yours, keep it coming, hilarious. Please quote anywhere where I said this, good luck finding something that is just in your own head.

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by cmb13

I haven’t read this entire thread,


Don't feel bad, nobody has.


You now look over the shoulder of everyone that uses the pianoworld? Wow you are omnipresent like a god!

Originally Posted by cmb13

....I would offer an analogy to support the OP. I have taken tennis lessons intermittently over the years. Different instructors have different ideas as to what is correct. Differing opinions on grips, backhands, serving styles, strategies. When I take a lesson now, realizing I am the amalgamation of various teachers’ styles, it is counterproductive to start fresh with an entirely new style. I simply ask them to help me with what I’m having trouble with, or to tweak one or two things. I’m not interested in assuming their style; I don’t have the time or will and it would ruin my game for months, at which point I may be in a different location with a different pro.

Hope this helps support your position.

Nope it didn't help me at all I have no idea what you are on about. I am not posting on here with the aim to coach anyone at all just share knowledge and people who find it useful can use it and those that don't don't have to use it it makes no difference to me. Why do some people think threads have to be all inclusive? That is a mystery to me.

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Personally I don't see why me sharing my insights into teaching should be taken as "dishonest" or cause feathers to be ruffled.....

Ok, this response suggests a problem that you are able to rectify if recognize it.

I don't see how you can come to that conclusion.

Originally Posted by keystring

You seem to have read my post in a hurry, and did not take time to understand it, and then taken on a defensive position of feeling attack. I was NOT writing about YOU, but about another teacher. You responded to what you thought I said, probably by skimming through and not checking. You took offensive to ruffled feathers, when the fact is that throughout this thread, feathers are being ruffled, whether or not they should be.

I didn't take offense at all, golly gosh. I am presenting ideas without the need for interactions with others which has been taken as offensive and causing feathers to ruffle just look at the delicate petals who have been responding to my thread and not been able to deal with any of the knowledge shared smile


Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/18/19 07:04 AM

One thing I find about the approaches to musical analysis is that we have to know how to use the tools to work for us personally. Some analysis is more important for those interested in composition rather than those interested in learning to play a piece at an efficient rate. Some analysis comes from your own logical observation of pattern and sound, you must build upon what you see not some analysis which does not prompt you to think about more with less thought. For instance, when studying a piece with a beginner, to give them an exhausting account of all the musical analysis possible is simply confusing and in fact slow to their learning progress. We must prioritize what the student personally needs and usually it is more of technical issues not the use of analytical tools to catalog the notes of a piece.

Some may find that when studying analytical tools some are rather inefficient for our taste (but how can one tell this if they have no sense of how they personally use music analysis?). For instance I do not catch myself writing in all the harmonic structure of a piece, I know the sound of the piece I do not need to label it constantly, sometimes it might help but the point is it has a restrained usage. We don't want cover a score with analysis it in the end makes it no simpler, we need to know which parts of the score needs to be analysed to help us understand trouble spots or help us absorb parts more efficiently, they simply must have an obvious improved effect to our own learning rate.

One of the best shortcuts in the learning road is to find music that you most enjoy and feel passionate about. This requires that you explore music that you could achieve that you enjoy. There are thousands upon thousands of piece to guide a beginner through to advanced piano playing/learning ability. But you may find that if you learn music that excites you, that inspires you and you can make constant progress through these piece (not stagnate for months on one piece), you will feel a more natural path through music.

The problem I find with many students who say they love piano music is that the piece they are passionate about are often much too difficult for them to achieve. They want to have a short cut to be able to learn their dream piece. I never disallow students of mine to learn pieces they are very passionate about even though is it too difficult for them. I think extending a student is a very important part in teaching, but at the same time you need to interest the student to make steps towards making these difficult pieces more standard works. This requires that you build their knowledge on actions on the piano that is relevant to their playing.

I teach some students who love pieces where the Lh plays arpeggios and the Rh plays melody. So I focus on LH technique to deal with arpeggios through easier repertoire that use these tools, I help them to analyze arpeggio patterns and give them tools how to sight read and finger these types of works efficiently etc. You don't just in the first lesson throw all the tools at them and swamp them with the information.

The application of teaching analysis and music on a whole should be in terms of the students interest. Some people may find other things much more important than others, it is such a personal issue. It would be short sighted to say all tools are important for everyone, the fact is, they are only important for teachers and academics who might be interested to know about the various tools that have been established as effective musical analysis techniques, but when we are trying to learn a piece we must use the tools that work more effectively for us and when we really require it.

This is not to say that we couldn't map a general usage of analytical tools that would benefit most people, being able to observe chords and scales for instance are a basic tool, when we first see a Cmajor we can analyise its shape and patterns of all sorts, but eventually it becomes an old friend and we know it well enough no longer requiring the need to consciously analyize it, some people however find certain observations more powerful than others, it depends on their thinking styles. Analytical tools that require constant constant observation and do not encourage us to eventually forget about them are inefficient tools and these of course differ from person to person.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/18/19 07:10 AM

Originally Posted by cmb13

I haven’t read this entire thread, nor do I intend to, but I would offer an analogy to support the OP. I have taken tennis lessons intermittently over the years. Different instructors have different ideas as to what is correct. Differing opinions on grips, backhands, serving styles, strategies. When I take a lesson now, realizing I am the amalgamation of various teachers’ styles, it is counterproductive to start fresh with an entirely new style. I simply ask them to help me with what I’m having trouble with, or to tweak one or two things. I’m not interested in assuming their style; I don’t have the time or will and it would ruin my game for months, at which point I may be in a different location with a different pro.

Hope this helps support your position.

I realize you are trying to support my position but I am really not trying to coach people I just want to share information without any motives. Music is different to tennis in the way that there are many different ways which can be effecitvely used at the same time, that would confuse a tennis player I bet. There are many schools of thought and many different methods and many different styles, so an experienced teacher would embrace differnces and consider how it relates to their own toolset. You are not going to get through to the others who feel hurt and offended by me I think, they think I am trying to force knowledge down their throats and am keeping them prisoner here on my thread and they must repsond ahahha. But I appreciate your support.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/18/19 07:31 AM

The competitive nature of music can be very destructive and full sorts of crazy behvaior. Music and education is a gift to be shared among people, you should be happy to listen to people play, you should be glad that others spread ideas about music, it should effect you for the good! But you see in institutions and competitions and even in public sometimes the people literally hate each other, they hate to hear a good performance, they hate to hear people discuss music that might not resonate with them, they love to hear the mistakes, they want each other to lose! I've always held this saying close to me "failures want to see others fail, succesful people want to see other people succeed"

I have experienced this destructive thinking in many ways much worse than the internet, from winning most competitions I entered during my younger years I noticed the jealousy of other students and teachers, annoyance when I always was the winner. Then the few times I did not get first place I felt really bad and angry that the other person beat me and I didn't play as well. What a terrible way to think. After winning many competition you can get a big head, I use to go to all these competitions and enjoy it when the other competitors looked at me from a distance or the few who would come and asked me what I was playing. You start feeling bigger than the rest, like they are small fish and you are the shark coming to eat them all up. It just isn't a healthy way of relating to others.

In my music lessons there is no competition, I refuse to let it exist freely and try to encourage all my students not to perceive musical events through competitive eyeglasses, often I get some students telling me of a youtube video they saw and how good it was and they could never do that etc as I described in a previous post in this thread. When I teach siblings I refused to teach them the same pieces, generally I do not let them learn the same pieces but sometimes competition between parents/children is sometimes extremely healthy only because the parents are mature enough to see beyond that game and are willing to lose so their child can experience winning. There is a whole philosophy behind this that I could write a lot about but in essence if a parents is playing a game with their child they can always keep the winning out of reach from their child and only let them win when they really beat the parent, that will instill highly competitive behavior in the child. Instead if a parent allows the child to learn to simply play, to not worry about winning or losing, and the parent freely can lose to the child so they can experience winning, this will create a child who does not necessarily find winning to be that important and losing to be so terrible because they realize their parents will lose and be fine with it, so the the game can be experienced without the ultimate aim to win or lose. It goes a lot deeper than this but thats the gist of it.

Interacting with music should be enjoyable there should be no negative feelings. The more you learn about music the more you realize that it is so wide and various, it is for all people, not just professionals, not just experts who play the most demanding works or for the clever student who can play their pieces at a tip top standard. You realize there are so many pathways in music some which you may never hear about or understand and that is fine! Enjoy your own musical journey, it is your own, a seed that will grow best with your love for music and not harvesting hatred and anger.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/18/19 11:05 AM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I am presenting ideas without the need for interactions with others



Yes. On a forum whose purpose is interactions with others. Where everyone else present is here for interactions with others.
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/18/19 11:58 AM

Hasn’t there been enough arrow slinging on this post? Time to quit posting, isn’t it????
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/18/19 12:37 PM

Originally Posted by TimR
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
I am presenting ideas without the need for interactions with others



Yes. On a forum whose purpose is interactions with others. Where everyone else present is here for interactions with others.

The key word is "need" please read more carefully TimR and not selectively.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/18/19 12:38 PM

Originally Posted by dogperson
Hasn’t there been enough arrow slinging on this post? Time to quit posting, isn’t it????

Yeah it looks like they need to get more practice in dog lol. Maybe they should practice talking more piano issues.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/19/19 03:34 AM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Personally I don't see why me sharing my insights into teaching should be taken as "dishonest" or cause feathers to be ruffled.....

Ok, this response suggests a problem that you are able to rectify if recognize it.

I don't see how you can come to that conclusion.

I explained how I came to that conclusion in the remainder of the paragraph that you did not quote, and possibly did not read. This was the whole paragraph - missing part underlined:
Originally Posted by me
Ok, this response suggests a problem that you are able to rectify if recognize it. You seem to have read my post in a hurry, and did not take time to understand it, and then taken on a defensive position of feeling attack. I was NOT writing about YOU, but about another teacher.


I had written about a different teacher. You responded about "dishonest" thinking that I had written about you. the problem to be rectified is the tendency to not take the time to really read and try to understand what people are saying. Communication is by nature two-way. This one was very blatant. I wrote about teacher X and you thought I had written about yourself, and you immediately responded and on the offensive. THAT is a problem. More clear?
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/19/19 08:54 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Originally Posted by keystring
[quote=Lostinidlewonder]Personally I don't see why me sharing my insights into teaching should be taken as "dishonest" or cause feathers to be ruffled.....

Ok, this response suggests a problem that you are able to rectify if recognize it.

I don't see how you can come to that conclusion.

Originally Posted by keystring
I explained how I came to that conclusion in the remainder of the paragraph that you did not quote, and possibly did not read. This was the whole paragraph - missing part underlined:

Originally Posted by me
Ok, this response suggests a problem that you are able to rectify if recognize it. You seem to have read my post in a hurry, and did not take time to understand it, and then taken on a defensive position of feeling attack. I was NOT writing about YOU, but about another teacher.

I still don't see how you can come to that conclusion, what do you mean "a problem that you are able to rectify if recognize.." that doesn't make sense to me because I don't see a problem that there is to rectify, if people react in a negative way is it my responsbility to change their thoughts? I don't think so, let them be negative thats up to them why should I care expecially when they don't bother to argue about the ideas I present? Anyway enough discussion about random rubbish it is irrelevant to my thread really. And just because you don't get a response from me that you expect there is no need in writing things like " you are not even reading and geting defensive feeling attacked" because I am doing none of this. If you think i am missing something restate it.


Originally Posted by keystring

I had written about a different teacher. You responded about "dishonest" thinking that I had written about you. the problem to be rectified is the tendency to not take the time to really read and try to understand what people are saying. Communication is by nature two-way. This one was very blatant. I wrote about teacher X and you thought I had written about yourself, and you immediately responded and on the offensive. THAT is a problem. More clear?

Nah I didn't think you were talking about me, I was applying what you were seeing in that other post to this post as to what others MIGHT be seeing. Or do you just want to randomly talk about another thread with no relationship to this one? That seems irrelevant then.
Posted By: keystring

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/19/19 09:21 AM

I'm out.
Posted By: TimR

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/19/19 10:12 AM

Originally Posted by keystring
I'm out.



Me too.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/19/19 11:38 AM

Pieces vs technical work to build technique.

When I went through music exam in the last milenium lol, I was forced to do Scales and Arpeggios and many technical exercises, I guess almost everyone did. I personally found them useless in terms of use of my time and their actual usefulness, the ideas of the stringent fingering were not all encompassing when applied to actual pieces, thus since technique and fingering are very closely connected I found they missed out a lot on teaching an understanding of technique, they also did nothing in terms of musical expression value. Labouring on technical work in isolation to pieces doesn't do as much as utilising them in actual peices.

When building students experience with technical work (scales, arpeggios, chord etc) we do have to show them many of the basics but how far do we really have to build them there and how much should we subjected to it? Most teachers will only follow single fingering ideologies and not even explore the multiple ways in which the technical work can actually be played, this sets up students for misunderstandings when trying to solve fingering in actual pieces. Most of my students who started learning piano from scratch have usually learned 100+ pieces before we tackle larger families of technical work and by then they naturally have an idea how to do them all without laboring on them individually. They understand multiple correct fingering that would work without following a single prescription because they can relate it to ideas they have experienced in actual pieces.

I find that this is an important way to build a student towards technical work, through learning many pieces first this will naturally build their understanding of the building blocks and the art of fingering to deal with them (a flexible use of them, i.e: multiple fingering to deal with it). This is much better than than studying the technical work in isolation of pieces with with stringent fingerings and then trying to applying them to pieces only to find that many pieces often break these rules because of musical context, thus leaving these students a little confused and uncertain.

Initial acquisition of coordination and fingering art using technical work I think is generally not the best approach and it should mostly be learned through pieces. I believe that it is helpful however to create "coordination challenges" for developing students, a sequence of notes in both hands which challenges certain coordination ideas. These specifically challenge coordination issues rather than a preset a singular fingering ideology that you find in a lot of technical work.

Some students if taken down the path of technical work to develop can get overly obsessed with them and aim to do them crystal clear and even and perfect. They can spend a lot of time just doing technical work! I am sure stories of great masters who tell about their initial study of piano where all they did was technical works, scales arpeggios etc for their initial years. This is almost akin to a Mr Miagi "Karate Kid" type of learning, wax on wax off, sweep the floor lol, you must do something very simple and perfect for extended periods before you are actually worthy to learn something real. Personally I find this very old fashioned but it is still encouraged to this day by some.

Chopin at one time intended to write a piano method. The work was never completed, but fragments of it remains. One fragment was preserved and given by his sister to the Princess Czartoryska after his death. The following is quite revealing:

[“No one notices inequality in the power of the notes of a scale when it is played very fast... The aim is not to play everything with an equal sound, but to acquire a beautiful quality of touch and a perfect shading of sound. For a long time players have acted against nature in seeking to give equal power to each finger. On the contrary, each finger should have an appropriate part assigned it ... There are, many different qualities of sound, just as there are several fingers. The point is to utilize the differences; and this, in other words, is the art of fingering.”]

Utilising the different qualities of sound to finger is done through practicing pieces because technical work like scales by themselves really have no musical point, we are stuck considering the physical nature a great deal more. When it is used in an actual peice scales however have meaning and that meaning is what nourishes a good technique. We also notice the many ways in which the fingerings can be used to deal with technical movements depending on the musical context and the notes that come before and after them. This application is much richer in knowledge than merely looking at technical work in total isolation of pieces.

Building students with hours of practice on pieces is much more helpful than hours of practice on just techincal excersises. This is not to say ignore technical study altogether but simply not to labor on them and not to worry about them in so much detail. Some people really get obsessed with doing them perfectly but then have little music to use them in. Some people learn scales which they have never used in a piece before! Just consider how many similar motion scales are studied and how many pieces one actually plays which use them, it is sad when the result often equals zero.

Some examinations place a lot of interest in technical work it is worth a large % of exam marks in Australia AMEB system far too much than necessary in my opinion. Because of this however many students who focus only on passing exam grades become very obsessed with technical work, to me this is not necessarily a smart way to build up your skills. Putting technical work high on the priority list of practice and not finding actual pieces to utilize them in misses out on a lot of value.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/20/19 10:15 AM

How to build up concert performers .

A few of my students over the years have had aspirations to be solo artists and since I was a solo pianist for several years before turning to teaching I enjoy teaching them how to build it all up. Firstly I like to explain to them there is a difference between the imaginary world of being a concert artist and actually doing it. The business side of things can be too much for many who just think it is all about playing the piano. Some think that competitions are the only way to a solo career but it is not the only way, in fact that is probably the narrowest bottle head there is to enter through, and there are a lot of politics and "cloak and dagger" business going on in many competitions. There are people who proclaim that all famous pianists won some competition, that is all great and wonderful but who said to be a concerting pianist you have to be famous? If you have ambitions to play in world class concert halls you should really take a step back. These venues are usually invite only, you have to be invited to play for it, either you know someone very famous who is performing there and you get some part or you have the connections.

If you aspire for a concerting career then why don't you start doing concerts? No one is going to organise one for you, you have to get yourself into action, hire a hall, promote yourself, sell the tickets. Keep doing that and you will grow your own concerting career you will make the connections. If you love what you do you will learn the craft of managing a concert from preparation to finish. Too many young pianists who win big competitions have no idea about managing themselves, they are slaves to whichever manager is looking after them. There are many places which are dying for entertainment of all sorts, you may not survive in a large city but the smaller towns out of the way often are quite interested. I know in outback Australia in some town where there are only a few hundred residents if you host a piano concert you will draw in the entire town. From doing many smaller venues you sharpen your performance sword, you get to know the business side of it all and then you wil have more confidence to do larger venues. Social media is also a good tool these days to get yourself seen especially in smaller areas.

If your aspirations is to make money then go do something else not piano, if you want to be famous with the piano then you have to start from somewhere, no one is going to put you on the international platform and hand it to you. Don't aspire to win competitions to jump to this platform, go do some smaller concerts, make a name for yourself around where you live. Then opportunities will arise from this if you have something to offer the audience that they didn't know they needed. Concerting these days is more about just playing, you have to be able to have a good connection with your audience as well and this is a big part of securing your career.

If you think too much about your struggles and challenges while you are trying to forge a path ahead you can get depressed, scared of taking the risk. A music career is like owning your own business, no different one bit! Some people think they have to make their product so good, winning competitions, studying x hours day, studying with the best teachers in the world etc etc. The reality is many pianists miss out on how to promote their product, how to make people interested to experience their music. I have watched winners of the Sydney International competition (a major world piano event) and fallen asleep at the concerts because they have no idea how to present, they just simply play. If you love your music you will want to talk about it to your audience, give them some insight into the music and what it means to you how it moves you and how they can attach their emotion to what they listen to.

Playing concert standards are a good way to start out with but where do you plan to go from there? How do you intend to talk about what you play for your audience that is the 2nd half of your concert and something which most international performers even fail at (especially some famous ones because they have rested on their fame their whole life, public speaking is a skill all performers should study and work as hard at as they do their instruments)! So do a better job connecting with your audience and they will enjoy you a lot more. I have had people come to me after concerts saying that it was the best piano concert they have ever attended and start rattling names of famous pianists they have seen in concert. Why do they feel inspired to say this? Is it because I played better than these pianists? I really don't think so, we all play differently not necessarily better, but what I am sure I am better at is talking to my audience. I can get them to laugh, to sigh, cry etc simply by relating them to the lavish stories and lives of the composers beg to be told, their pieces express "hidden" meaning which you can reveal to your audience. They will love you for it being able to listen to music in a more educated manner.

Of course how you play must be good quality, interesting and it has to capture your audience. People are not interested in just the right notes being hit or playing super fast. After 10 minutes of seeing mad virtuosity the effect generally wears off the audience, people want to hear the music they don't care about how difficult it is to play the piece (most concert goers anyway). Constructing a repertoire which is filled with familiar works for the average concert goer to emotionaly attach to as well as introducing some lesser known works or gems is a balancing act. Some people think they are playing for a concert hall filled with professors of music where in reality the majority of listeners are really just the average person!
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/21/19 06:07 AM

Considering the line between Competence and Performance:

"Chomsky separates competence and performance; he describes 'competence' as an idealized capacity that is located as a psychological or mental property or function and 'performance' as the production of actual utterances. Linguistic competence is the system of linguistic knowledge possessed by native speakers of a language. It is distinguished from linguistic performance, which is the way a language system is used in communication.

Linguistic theory is concerned primarily with an ideal speaker-listener, in a completely homogeneous speech-community, who knows its (the speech community's) language perfectly and is unaffected by such grammatically irrelevant conditions as memory limitations, distractions, shifts of attention and interest, and errors (random or characteristic) in applying his knowledge of this language in actual performance. ~Chomsky,1965"

In regard to language of music I see parallels, notably how those who study piano for instance can have the acknowledgement of ideal competence and know what needs to be done to improve but their performance highlights their disconnection to their competence or certainly some kind of forgetfulness or unwillingness or inability to follow what they know. You can know how to achieve a task but to actually go through and make it a reality is a different matter. Some may think they are competent with musical language and how it is trained but their performance is full of issues such as lack of practice, motivation, lack of goal setting, ignoring teachers advice, making poor fingering decisions, lack of expression etc and some perform happily at odds with their competence and are not affected by the difference. The trap is that many can mistake their competence for their performance without really considering it or being affected by the difference.

As music listeners who are fully competent as to what sounds good or not to our ears we can fully understand someone's musical language even see past their errors and inefficiencies just because a performance doesn't highlight an ideal competence their performance is still appreciated and understood. Some listeners performance of their listening competence however can produce bad results such as bias towards tempo or certain interpretations. As teachers we can even mistake a students competence as easily transferable to their performance. In lessons a student can know exactly what is taught but then go home and perform that poorly. Mostly the performance is affected by poor practice time management and discipline towards work. As musicians honing their craft we need to be wary that we are actively applying what we know and notice what we are failing to acheive and why. I notice a monkey on pretty much everyone's back, a psychological resistance to perform what they know effectively. It is what we all must work against and certainly separate our musical competence to our actual performance of that competence is important.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/22/19 04:45 PM

Building up musical maturity.

I've had very young students say to me that they don't want to learn the piano. I ignore it the first time they say it. If they bring it up again sometime down the track I will take notice and mention it to the parents. There is literally no point in teaching a child who says they don't want to learn something. If they vocalize it you need to take action. I've had some that say nothing and do it because their parents want them to, I will not refuse to teach them because it is never too late to learn that sometimes in life we have to do things we don't exactly want to do!

Some children say things which doesn't have real motivation behind it except to escape work. They might just want to get out of the work required from them sitting in a lesson, whether it be piano or any other subject for that matter. Some can feel agitated in lessons and not really listen to advice you give them. I feel that they sometimes do this because they don't like to think that they are doing something at their highest potential. With these students I will challenge them to do it another way rather than correcting them.

Some will not want to play something differently and try to persuade you that how they are currently doing it is fine enough. This makes me think that they are afraid to consider that how they do something might not be the best way and the effort to change provides benefits they are currently disinterested in. Bright young students can be this way, they play sports and know they are doing it right because they win, they get high marks in class because it says so on the test papers, but with music there is a broad degree of what constitutes good, some of them think it is good if all the notes and fingers used are correct. There is that musical maturity that we have to build up in them sometimes and this may be a long term goal. You would not want a total beginner to play like a professional concert pianist immediately because there are many other stages of good that they must achieve before they get that but what stages are they personally ready for, we as teachers sometimes need to prepare them for that and not shove them into it.

So I find some young students are not mentally capable rather than physically. They may have the ability to improve but their mental capacity to deal with change and reassessing the way they do things is not at that same level. If we push for too much change they can get agitated and lose interest in the lesson and sometimes may even try to distract us from pushing the issue too hard which we should look out for and accept that we are going too far. Give them space to breath and give them your trust that they will try to work it out and at least pay attention that there is need for improvement. There are other wars to be won further down the track, we can always test again if they are ready in the not too distant future, no need to force the issue, give them that time to mature musically themselves.

This also has relevance to more adult students, allowing them to mature musically. If we obsess with details of their music study whether it is expression, technique or discipline and the student is not really interested or ready to recieve such improvements we can overwhelm them, not necessarily with the work load but rather with an amount of work which provides benefits they are not ready to appreciate or are interested in. Some adult students may indeed just as younger students feel suffocated and may feel that the lesson is dragging on or progression is at a snails pace if we overly obsess on every detail and improvement that can be done. As teacers need to keep the flow of lessons and new material going as well as build up their skills but keeping in mind that what we build doesn't flounder about waiting for improvements that they are not fully interested in. Once you have their interest, once their musical maturity is at the correct level for what you teach they will work much better because it is work they appreciate and are keen to learn about.

Take training sight reading for example, there has to be a readiness to appreciate the benefits of sight reading first and foremost, then an ability to humble themselves and study works which are much easier than their playing potential (since the majority of sight reading training comes from studying "easier" works). If you force students into sight reading regiemes and work with many of pieces of a low level they will hate you for it and find lessons extremely boring, but those who have matured to a certain point where they understand the benefits of improving reading skills and understand how it will help them learn their music will subject themselves to studying works at a lower level simply to build that important skill that they acknowledge. There are of course games and other ways to introduce students into reading skills but the serious training requires that they do want to get better at it.

Some teachers merely force students into some improvements because it will be for their own good whether they personally want to do it or not. Polite and diligent students will do whatever their teacher asks for but we realy want to produce students like this that simply jump through any hoops we put before them? We want them to enjoy and willingly study what they want and we should encourage their musical maturity in a healthy way to promote good direction and not merely force their direction.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/22/19 10:38 PM

Lostinidlewonder:

Have you ever read your own posts? Do you know the meaning of the word "edit"?

I felt myself losing the will to live when I read this after returning from vacation. Then more, and more, and even more like it:

Quote
The internet is full of those who merely want to criticise, it makes them feel better and keeps them in their safe space where they don't have to learn anything, I let them do that if it is what they need, I do feel sorry for those who need to do things like in really it effect on me is like water on a ducks back, I've been on the internet a long time and never bothered when strangers who have no meaning in my life spew forth unthoughtful criticism.

Guess who wrote that?

You spend the whole of this silly thread criticising everyone in PW, except those who (apparently) agree with your sermons (actually, the plural is rather generous; your preaching here is just one long sermon repeated ad nauseam in about 100,000 similar ways - actually, the number of zeros is probably doing an injustice to your amazing propensity for sheer verbiage) then affect hurt and pretend yourself to be above it all, when you are actually the perpetrator.

Do yourself and everyone else a big favour, and read all your own posts from the beginning of this thread. Don't worry, it shouldn't take more than 200 hours. Just think: what would someone else reading your hyper-overinflated, egoistic, egotistic and pompous posts think of you as a teacher?

BTW, the ability to put oneself in others' shoes is called empathy, which you appear to have no idea of.

I for one am very glad that I never had a teacher in my ten years of piano lesson who remotely resembled you, or I'd have given up piano and switched to the onde martenot or ukulele instead...........
Posted By: dogperson

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/22/19 11:02 PM

I am saddened by the venom in this thread. Don’t like the tone or content? Don’t read. Too long? Don’t read. REALLY don’t like it? Block poster. Is there anything to be gained from these responses???? I guess it might make everyone feel good to write something snippy ; but I don’t understand that either, quite frankly.
Posted By: NobleHouse

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 12:19 AM

Originally Posted by dogperson
I am saddened by the venom in this thread. Don’t like the tone or content? Don’t read. Too long? Don’t read. REALLY don’t like it? Block poster. Is there anything to be gained from these responses???? I guess it might make everyone feel good to write something snippy ; but I don’t understand that either, quite frankly.

I have to agree. If it bothers you, or you find it boring/not interesting-just ignore the poster and thread. No need to criticize.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 12:35 AM

Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by dogperson
I am saddened by the venom in this thread. Don’t like the tone or content? Don’t read. Too long? Don’t read. REALLY don’t like it? Block poster. Is there anything to be gained from these responses???? I guess it might make everyone feel good to write something snippy ; but I don’t understand that either, quite frankly.

I have to agree. If it bothers you, or you find it boring/not interesting-just ignore the poster and thread. No need to criticize.

There are some people who're so full of their own importance that they are completely oblivious to what's happening.

I, as a very discerning, intelligent and worldly-wise sage, feel it is my imperative duty to carefully guide such people, to open their eyes very gently to the world around them, and how they're being perceived. cool

See what I'm doing there? grin grin

(Hint: I'm taking on the OP's modus operandi and assuming - with no evidence at all - that everyone else is stupid and uninformed, and they need my excellent guidance so that they don't keep making the same mistakes again & again and again &........)

In the past few posts, he's successfully alienated two of his biggest original fans. The others he alienated hundreds of posts ago. And he has no idea.



So - yes, there's something for the OP to be gained from constructive criticism. thumb

Of my sort, of course.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 03:31 AM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Lostinidlewonder:

Have you ever read your own posts? Do you know the meaning of the word "edit"?

I felt myself losing the will to live when I read this after returning from vacation. Then more, and more, and even more like it:

Do you know that pianoworld has a time limit for how long you can edit? Now please we don't really need your melodramatic responses, have some respect for people who are actually suffering depression.


Originally Posted by bennevis

Quote
The internet is full of those who merely want to criticise, it makes them feel better and keeps them in their safe space where they don't have to learn anything, I let them do that if it is what they need, I do feel sorry for those who need to do things like in really it effect on me is like water on a ducks back, I've been on the internet a long time and never bothered when strangers who have no meaning in my life spew forth unthoughtful criticism.

Guess who wrote that?

You spend the whole of this silly thread criticising everyone in PW, except those who (apparently) agree with your sermons (actually, the plural is rather generous; your preaching here is just one long sermon repeated ad nauseam in about 100,000 similar ways - actually, the number of zeros is probably doing an injustice to your amazing propensity for sheer verbiage) then affect hurt and pretend yourself to be above it all, when you are actually the perpetrator.

You seem to misunderstand the difference between unconstructive criticism and critique which actually argues the point of knowledge in this thread. For example, your previous comment "I felt myself losing the will to live" is an example of useless unconstructive critique which does not teach anyone anything about music education. If I disagree with someones perspective on music issues this is not unconstructive critique because we are discussing something that is not personal.


Originally Posted by bennevis

Do yourself and everyone else a big favour, and read all your own posts from the beginning of this thread. Don't worry, it shouldn't take more than 200 hours. Just think: what would someone else reading your hyper-overinflated, egoistic, egotistic and pompous posts think of you as a teacher?

Do yourself a favour??LOL I love your description "Overinflated" "egoistic" "Egotistic" "pompous" lol!!!!! Are you so threatened by my posting that you need to describe me in such rude ways? Hilarious though. Don't you realize that there are many more people who read this thread and don't respond, you think I am going to stop because irrationally hurt/threatened people like yourself respond here?

Originally Posted by bennevis

BTW, the ability to put oneself in others' shoes is called empathy, which you appear to have no idea of.

Yet you have so much empathy, calling my writing "Overinflated" "egoistic" "Egotistic" "pompous" and being suicidal "losing the will to live", and that I don't know the word "edit" is this all is displaying such empathy you think I should harvest? I think you need to look at yourself a little closer smile

Originally Posted by bennevis

I for one am very glad that I never had a teacher in my ten years of piano lesson who remotely resembled you, or I'd have given up piano and switched to the onde martenot or ukulele instead...........

Awwww I'm so sad now bennevis it was my life long dream to have you as a student..... lol
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 03:43 AM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by dogperson
I am saddened by the venom in this thread. Don’t like the tone or content? Don’t read. Too long? Don’t read. REALLY don’t like it? Block poster. Is there anything to be gained from these responses???? I guess it might make everyone feel good to write something snippy ; but I don’t understand that either, quite frankly.

I have to agree. If it bothers you, or you find it boring/not interesting-just ignore the poster and thread. No need to criticize.

There are some people who're so full of their own importance that they are completely oblivious to what's happening.

Yes we need people like you, warriors of showing who are "so full of their own importance". Your writing really educates everyone here that I am some evil arrogant teacher who just wants to make people feel hurt and threatened and just spew forth my arrogance lol. You just present yourself as a very angry person who wants to personally attack others, that is a shame. In two posts you have tried so hard but it does nothing at all to me, it does make you look rather unfriendly though lol, I guess that is your aim.

Originally Posted by bennevis

I, as a very discerning, intelligent and worldly-wise sage, feel it is my imperative duty to carefully guide such people, to open their eyes very gently to the world around them, and how they're being perceived. cool


See what I'm doing there? grin grin

(Hint: I'm taking on the OP's modus operandi and assuming - with no evidence at all - that everyone else is stupid and uninformed, and they need my excellent guidance so that they don't keep making the same mistakes again & again and again &........)

Quote me anywhere where I have said I am very "discerning, intelligent and a worldy wise sage" or that "everyone else is stupid, uninformed and they need MY excellent guidance" oh dear whats wrong, you can't find it? That's because it is the way in which you have interpreted my sharing of knowledge in the thread, you have felt very threatened. It is your own perception which you have inflated its important so much so that it must be the truth everyone is holding. Thank goodness not everyone is as angry as you, but please keep it coming, I appreciate you bumping up my thread.


Originally Posted by bennevis

In the past few posts, he's successfully alienated two of his biggest original fans. The others he alienated hundreds of posts ago. And he has no idea.

Alienated as well now good grief! Just because I have responded and elaborated further this alienates people? Have you even read this thread at all? It looks like you haven't because I have had discussion with a number of people which have not left them feeling alientated. Those who try to talk rubbish about the thread and nothing about music education will get their silliness highlighted, anyone who has brought forth any questions or ideas about what I have written I have responded and whether we agree or disagree that doesn't matter. It seems you think that if someone disagrees OOOOOooo that is so bad and alienating, gosh, don't you realize you don't have to agree all the time, people won't get hurt if there is disagreement unless they are so insecure about their own beliefs that they must have everyone agree with them.


Originally Posted by bennevis

So - yes, there's something for the OP to be gained from constructive criticism. thumb

Of my sort, of course.

lol constructive criticism, hilarious coming from someone who has not done any of that in their last 2 responses.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 03:47 AM

Originally Posted by dogperson
I am saddened by the venom in this thread. Don’t like the tone or content? Don’t read. Too long? Don’t read. REALLY don’t like it? Block poster. Is there anything to be gained from these responses???? I guess it might make everyone feel good to write something snippy ; but I don’t understand that either, quite frankly.

It is amazing how many people just need to respond with that vemon, I have said so many times it don't bother me yet some just can't resist to practice it. It's ok I don't mind being a whipping boy lol.

Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by dogperson
I am saddened by the venom in this thread. Don’t like the tone or content? Don’t read. Too long? Don’t read. REALLY don’t like it? Block poster. Is there anything to be gained from these responses???? I guess it might make everyone feel good to write something snippy ; but I don’t understand that either, quite frankly.

I have to agree. If it bothers you, or you find it boring/not interesting-just ignore the poster and thread. No need to criticize.

Yeah exactly, I don't need people to respond off topic with them being upset about me, I really don't care what faceless strangers think about me, I wonder why they think I would? Is it so hard for them to ignore me if they feel so angry about me? I guess so!
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 04:19 AM

Originally Posted by dogperson
I am saddened by the venom in this thread. Don’t like the tone or content? Don’t read. Too long? Don’t read. REALLY don’t like it? Block poster. Is there anything to be gained from these responses???? I guess it might make everyone feel good to write something snippy ; but I don’t understand that either, quite frankly.

In contrast, I enjoy every last bit of venom in this thread. This is by far the funniest thread I've ever read in PW, and part of the fun is that one person keeps on talking to himself, like some dude in an insane asylum. Absurd!!! I was hoping that the monologue will go on for weeks and months.

Don't like the criticism? Don't read.

If it bothers you, just ignore the poster and thread. No need to criticize the criticism.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 05:03 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano

...part of the fun is that one person keeps on talking to himself, like some dude in an insane asylum. Absurd!!!

You seem to know everyone that views this thread, do you think that over 6x views are all responders? Are you looking at my thread hundreds of times a week now? lol. What is even more absurd is people who comment on here who are not interested in the thread at all, as if they are forced to post here lol. I don't mind they are keeping my thread on top, excellent!

Originally Posted by AZNpiano

If it bothers you, just ignore the poster and thread. No need to criticize the criticism.

Oh but it is ok to critique the critique of the critique? lol smile Funny how you tell someone not to do something but you do the very same. Such hypocrisy is funny.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 05:23 AM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Are you looking at my thread hundreds of times a week now?

Yes, I do _look_ at this thread, like looking at a train wreck. Such morbid fascination. Please, PLEASE keep up your monologues. The world needs more of your blatant wisdom.

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Oh but it is ok to critique the critique of the critique? lol smile Funny how you tell someone not to do something but you do the very same. Such hypocrisy is funny.

The irony flew right over your head.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 05:37 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Are you looking at my thread hundreds of times a week now?

Yes, I do _look_ at this thread, like looking at a train wreck. Such morbid fascination. Please, PLEASE keep up your monologues. The world needs more of your blatant wisdom.

Please you admit that you look at it 100s of times a week? I will continue what I am doing, I have done so for many years. I don't need your fake thumbs up lol. There are plenty of people who are not responding and simply reading this thread without feeling threatened so much so that they need to cry about me and write non music issues. There is only a small minority of you who do that, loud empty vessels by the looks of it, surely you have some music knowledge to share or maybe you just like to complain more? If what I write goes against your teaching doctrines then debate the issue, it looks like many of you who are merely QQ crying at me are unable to do so.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
Oh but it is ok to critique the critique of the critique? lol smile Funny how you tell someone not to do something but you do the very same. Such hypocrisy is funny.

The irony flew right over your head.

Irony lol yeah right. You simply told them to let people cast their unconstructive personal attack at me and not to complain about it, which I think is rather silly, you want people on pianoworld to cast personal attacks and promote irrelevant kibitizing? That seems rather unintelligent and not in the spirit of sharing knowledge here about musical issues.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 05:45 AM

Some more ideas on building sight reading:

Of course one could write an entire book about how to teach sight reading, there really is a huge amount to write about it regarding each of the different levels of sight reading. We can only reveal the tip of the iceberg in an online discussion. One issue I think is of key important is Fingering. Most people have problems sight reading because they cannot fluently use the correct fingers to play a passage. If people use the correct fingers all the time the reading becomes much easier. I place a special importance in understanding fingering, how to solve it in many different pieces and discussing why certain fingering might be better than others for a given passage.

To know what pieces to study with the student I need to clearly understand what is easy, normal and difficult for the student to read. Understanding what separates and lies in between these categorizations helps me understand what material to use to improve the students reading ability. It is of course important that we teach many scales, chords and progressions, arpeggio and their patterns, general coordination for playing such as Support (Chord, arpeggio, scale, part playing) vs Melody etc but then their application to pieces is even more instructive and how they bend the rules of the basic fingering ideologies depending on the musical context.

Sight reading naturally improves the more pieces a student masters. This is because they become familiar with the general procedures you come across in music, many patterns and co-ordinations of the hands are well known with many pieces re-enforcing what it feels like in the hand. Then when they investigate more closely what it looks like in sheet music they can make more immediate reaction to their hands to produce it. Effective sight reading uses a great deal of memory and past experience of many pieces.

No one can read something well that uses technique that they have little or no experience playing before. This is a big problem that faces teaching sight reading to early beginners of piano. Of course we can teach the basics, how to read notes, note values, how to solve rhythms, timing, key signature etc etc, the basics you can teach any beginner but getting them to sightread chords, arpeggios, scales in pieces and coordinating many two hand playing procedures etc, without having experience with it in pieces they have learned can overwhelm them. It certainly makes understanding the fingering and technique to produce it elusive and you might find spoon feeding them all the correct fingering information makes the sight reading exercise useless. It can be overwhelming asking a students to read actions that they have little experience with, so a caring teacher should ensure that what they teach in reading reflects what the student has at least some experience with.

For beginners I do encourage them learning many small hand position pieces (with very few hand positions) and learning via fingering number combinations. This way we can train many chords, scales and co-ordination patterns then get them to start reading these patterns in music once they have a few pieces under their belt. This way they start to read larger amounts of the score immediately rather than focusing on one dot at a time. However a beginner should learn to count up and down the staff and cycle through the letters backwards and forwards (in different intervals as well). Understanding how to read patterns in chords for instance is very helpful for beginners. Chorals are excellent for this although can be overwhelming if a student is weak at playing chord positions. However understanding chord patterns such as CEG - CFA noticing that the lowest note remains the same but the top two have gone up, noticing this pattern in the keyboard and then in the sheet and making this connection. Observing patterns this way is very helpful.

Knowing what is easy, normal and difficult for a student to read usually opens up a large amount of music for us to focus study on. I tend to find that music like Bach's part writing is extremely important for more experienced sight readers. Understanding the fingering and appreciating the contours to the piano caused by the key signatures, understanding how to phrase part writing effectively etc, this is all very helpful for good sight readers. One of the most helpful aspects of studying the WTC for instance especially the fugues is that one can practice it with many different slow tempos without losing cohesion musically.

Another good approach to building reading skills is to simplify the reading requirements a little, this can be done with two different types of music. There two ways in which we improve our sight reading, that is increasing the speed and accuracy. We can target to improve each one seperately. When you try to improve your speed of sightreading simply take out "easy" music for yourself and play it at tempo. When you want to prove your accuracy take out "hard" music and play it super slow with all the correct notes. There are a few simplifications and rules ideas that can be used as to how you practice your sight reading such as ignore dynamic, ignore rhythm, try to maintain correct fingering (at least start each bar with the right fingers).

When improving speed you must not stop if you make a mistake you should keep playing. Imrpove your speed of sight reading usually sounds quite bad since you will not be hitting all the correct notes and you do not need to. You simply keep reading and pushing yourself on, trying to recover if you hit wrong notes but never stopping. This goes against peoples very nature of playing piano but it's very helpful to improve your speed of reading. When improving your accuracy you must play note perfect and finger perfect music that is harder for you, but take all the time in the world to determine what you must play. As you notice the music will sound pretty much nothing like it should again since you will be taking it super slow.

Of course improving your ability to see groups of notes at a time is helpful, understanding the form of the keyboard to keysignature, building blocks of music like scales, chords, progression etc. Stronger reading skills comes through a lot of practice and it is not unusual that reading students of mine go through hundred+ pieces a month. It is pretty much the same as when you started to read words. You learn to understand the sound of individual letters, then you notice how they work together, after a number of years you are reading complete words and sentences without having to read every single letter, the same applies for music, you first start out reading every single dot and rest there is, you count out every single rhythmic device used, you measure out every coordination isssue, you plot out all the x vs y notes in each hand working together etc etc, eventually you understand how to absorb more at once. The difference is that you pretty much mastered how to use your voice to talk before you start learning how to read words, with music you always have the voice of your instrument to struggle with which can make reading music difficult.
Posted By: PianoStudent88

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 06:05 AM

Lostinidlewonder, a way around the short edit time on PW is to compose and revise your posts in a separate editor, and then, after you’ve made your edits, to copy-paste the text into the PW posting box.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 06:08 AM

Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
Lostinidlewonder, a way around the short edit time on PW is to compose and revise your posts in a separate editor, and then, after you’ve made your edits, to copy-paste the text into the PW posting box.

Yes that makes sense, I do read through what I write before posting it and make corrections though I don't catch everything, sometimes I will find it later down the track but its too late frown The majority of what I write should be understandable though some people tend to want to overexaggerate any errors which is silliness. If people are confused they can always quote a passage that they don't understand and I will happily restate it, if they are interested enough.
Posted By: PianoStudent88

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 08:00 AM

I don’t think people are suggesting more time spent editing because of errors that might creep into your posts.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 12:10 PM

Originally Posted by PianoStudent88
I don’t think people are suggesting more time spent editing because of errors that might creep into your posts.

Well sure some probably would like me to cut down 99% of the writing and write single sentences lol not going to happen though. You would think that those who identify as being musicians should be accustomed to differences and people being different, our favorite past time is not a very mainstream activity these days, quite marginalized. That I post the way I do shouldn't encourage others to feel offended, threatened or whatever they feel, they also shouldn't feel like they need to try assimilate me to be like everyone else either, I am writing about music and it should be relevant to others who share the same interest. Surely if I posted about music education on a chess forum or a sports forum that would be unusual, so I feel very comfortable writing. I am different and don't care if others feel upset about that, I celebrate differences, it is the salt of this dreary world. My musical ideologies are not unusual and irrelevant to musical studies, I will happily discuss with anyone who want to try and show that it is, I invite that, give it a try.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 12:25 PM

I find the metaposts more interesting than the on topic posts.

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
My musical ideologies are not unusual and irrelevant ...

Is this not a central feature of the thread? General knowledge is presented in overly long poorly constructed posts. Then, rather than happily engaging in discussion about either ideas or style, OP responds with hostility to any thing other than adoration.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 01:49 PM

Originally Posted by malkin
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
My musical ideologies are not unusual and irrelevant ...

Is this not a central feature of the thread? General knowledge is presented in overly long poorly constructed posts. Then, rather than happily engaging in discussion about either ideas or style, OP responds with hostility to any thing other than adoration.

General knowledge you think? I don't think so given the amount of transfer students I come across who find many of ideas I have presented have never been discussed by their previous teachers. How are they poorly constructed posts, just because they are long? That is just your opinion with no quoting of what I write to back yourself up, useless. I have engaged with eveyrone who has asked me to elaborate or questioned what I wrote, whether we agree or not is not an issue, you look at it as hostility, it looks like you are not accustomed to seeing people not agreeing. Where have I been hostile? Please quote and not just enter you opnion, as soon as you quote we will see how irrational you are. Opinions about me personaly and not dealing with the knowledge written, opnions about what I write without backing it up with quotes of what I write, just more useless criticism which has nothing to do with music issues. This is supposed to be a piano forum where people discuss music issues, you and a few others seem to be practicing some other subject in this thread which requires much less intelligence.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 01:51 PM

As the rest of PW is somewhat quiet at present, I thought I'd entertain myself by reading backwards on this immensely popular thread smirk .

Hmmm, I somehow missed the fact that the OP has already been at this sort of stuff for some 15 years on another forum (which I've never read), i.e. standing on a pedestal he erected himself in his own honour, and preaching to huge imaginary audiences' grannies on how best to suck eggs.

I also didn't realise that the OP has already been throwing around condescending put-downs to everyone who responded to him, except (of course) those few who keep kowtowing to His Royal Silliness (apologies in advance if the OP isn't a Royalist wink ).

As Aristotle once said (- if he didn't, he should have), fifteen years is a long time to be single-mindedly pursuing a one-track course of ploughing a furrow down a cornfield while completely ignoring all the good corn around you. Far too long to change course, in fact. The steering wheel has long ago been jammed with rust, and no amount of good oil can unjam it. The gerbil who imagines himself a lion with the wisdom of an elephant has no other direction to take, because his limbs cannot change course.

Ah well, blogs pretending to be informative threads have been & gone in ABF, but this one trumps all those in its sheer verbosity, verbiage and length, as well as in its self-righteousness and pomposity grin.

Let's see how long the OP can keep up his verbiage....maybe he hasn't actually got any students and can therefore do this 24/7?
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 01:59 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis
I somehow missed the fact that the OP has already been at this sort of stuff for some 15 years on another forum (which I've never read), i.e. standing on a pedestal he erected himself in his own honour, and preaching to huge imaginary audiences' grannies on how best to suck eggs.

I like how you take a fact which is true and try to make it look like I am using it in a way I am not. Please quote where I have used the fact that I have posted on another forum for 15 years as an HONOR of my own?? Everywhere where I have posted that is to tell people that I have been doing this a long time in this exact style and they are not going to stop me. Please read carefully and not make up stories of your own.


Originally Posted by bennevis

I also didn't realise that the OP has already been throwing around condescending put-downs to everyone who responded to him, except (of course) those few who keep kowtowing to His Royal Silliness (apologies in advance if the OP isn't a Royalist wink ).

Lol the pot calling the kettle black runs very strong in you. If people want to write rubbish about me and not even deal with the knowledge I have offered here what do you expect? That I take what they say seriously? They don't even want to discuss music, this is a piano forum, I am not going to walk on eggshells when people write off topic rubbish like yourself.

Originally Posted by bennevis

....fifteen years is a long time to be single-mindedly pursuing a one-track course of ploughing a furrow down a cornfield while completely ignoring all the good corn around you. Far too long to change course, in fact. The steering wheel has long ago been jammed with rust, and no amount of good oil can unjam it. The gerbil who imagines himself a lion with the wisdom of an elephant has no other direction to take, because his limbs cannot change course.

So have you read all my posts on pianostreet or are you just making up more stories in your head? It looks like you enjoy living in your own little world. If me writing about piano subjects doesn't interest you I wonder what you are doing on a piano forum, you don't have to respond lol. I like how my post is revealing the type of loud mouth people at cannot deal with difference and someone that stands out. I love the attention myself and you bumping up my thread smile.


Originally Posted by bennevis

Ah well, blogs pretending to be informative threads have been & gone in ABF, but this one trumps all those in its sheer verbosity, verbiage and length, as well as in its self-righteousness and pomposity grin.

Again more opiniative drivel without quoting anything to prove your position. That makes ass what you write look like a big QQ

Originally Posted by bennevis

Let's see how long the OP can keep up his verbiage....maybe he hasn't actually got any students and can therefore do this 24/7?

I will respond more than you can handle just keep trying :P You're silly responses and attempts to personally attack me just reveal the type of person you are, its good all can see that smile


I notice that you are unable to respond to anything I responded to in your last hissy fit post toward me. Let me copy paste for preservation:
************************
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Originally Posted by dogperson
I am saddened by the venom in this thread. Don’t like the tone or content? Don’t read. Too long? Don’t read. REALLY don’t like it? Block poster. Is there anything to be gained from these responses???? I guess it might make everyone feel good to write something snippy ; but I don’t understand that either, quite frankly.

I have to agree. If it bothers you, or you find it boring/not interesting-just ignore the poster and thread. No need to criticize.

There are some people who're so full of their own importance that they are completely oblivious to what's happening.
************************

Yes we need people like you, warriors of showing who are "so full of their own importance". Your writing really educates everyone here that I am some evil arrogant teacher who just wants to make people feel hurt and threatened and just spew forth my arrogance lol. You just present yourself as a very angry person who wants to personally attack others, that is a shame. In two posts you have tried so hard but it does nothing at all to me, it does make you look rather unfriendly though lol, I guess that is your aim.

************************
Originally Posted by bennevis

I, as a very discerning, intelligent and worldly-wise sage, feel it is my imperative duty to carefully guide such people, to open their eyes very gently to the world around them, and how they're being perceived. cool


See what I'm doing there? grin grin

(Hint: I'm taking on the OP's modus operandi and assuming - with no evidence at all - that everyone else is stupid and uninformed, and they need my excellent guidance so that they don't keep making the same mistakes again & again and again &........)
************************
Quote me anywhere where I have said I am very "discerning, intelligent and a worldy wise sage" or that "everyone else is stupid, uninformed and they need MY excellent guidance" oh dear whats wrong, you can't find it? That's because it is the way in which you have interpreted my sharing of knowledge in the thread, you have felt very threatened. It is your own perception which you have inflated its important so much so that it must be the truth everyone is holding. Thank goodness not everyone is as angry as you, but please keep it coming, I appreciate you bumping up my thread.


************************
Originally Posted by bennevis

In the past few posts, he's successfully alienated two of his biggest original fans. The others he alienated hundreds of posts ago. And he has no idea.
************************
Alienated as well now good grief! Just because I have responded and elaborated further this alienates people? Have you even read this thread at all? It looks like you haven't because I have had discussion with a number of people which have not left them feeling alientated. Those who try to talk rubbish about the thread and nothing about music education will get their silliness highlighted, anyone who has brought forth any questions or ideas about what I have written I have responded and whether we agree or disagree that doesn't matter. It seems you think that if someone disagrees OOOOOooo that is so bad and alienating, gosh, don't you realize you don't have to agree all the time, people won't get hurt if there is disagreement unless they are so insecure about their own beliefs that they must have everyone agree with them.


************************
Originally Posted by bennevis

So - yes, there's something for the OP to be gained from constructive criticism. thumb

Of my sort, of course.
************************

lol constructive criticism, hilarious coming from someone who has not done any of that in their last 2 responses.

Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 02:28 PM

Building up listening skills:

I found playing on silent keyboard to pretend to be a beginner who absolutely cannot hear anything they do is an interesting experience and makes me more aware of problems my beginners may experience. When sightreadng with a silent keyboard ( eg: digital piano with zero volume) I find it much more difficult to maintain timing and how to move at they keyboard. For example if hand must move down to a new position it is difficult to gauge the movement without the sound of the notes giving some assistance. The difference in the frequency of the notes helps guide the distance of the movement, it is a sound space, the distance the hand moves correlates to the anticipated sound and with a silent keyboard this is taken away.

Also anticipation of sound is taken away when you cannot hear what you are playing which forces you to notice more detail in the writing. This is a key problem for developing sight readers that they cannot hear what they are playing and anticipate what will follow this need to read more detail. Without the sound guiding us the reading certainly becomes much more mechanical and inefficient since more needs to be consciously processed as fingering rather than automated response in the hand that we draw from past experience. You also have a big problem of not hearing if you play a wrong note.

It is almost impossible for me to play a complicated memorised piece on a silent keyboard I need the sound to cue certain movements, things like volume dynamics go totally haywire if you can't hear what you are doing! Not being able to hear does take away the sound production but there are other goals you can achieve quite successfully without the sound guiding you. Reading positions which does not require a lot of movement from a single position, you can often completely appreciate the coordination quite easily. But not being able to hear what you play is almost exactly like turning off the sound completely, how do we notice when we are no longer hearing what we play and not using that to guide our hands? What instances in our playing requires the sound to let us know that the end goal was achieved? Obviously we don't need our ears for every single issue but there are times when it is required. Starting positions should be no problems even without sound guiding you and start of many phrases throughout also.

It is interesting to experience what it is like to not hear what we play to feel what beginners feel since more advanced pianists can easily forget about it (which can be a problem if you are a teacher). Beginners are often so caught up over the movements of their body while playing that they have little attention to the sound. The problems that come and limit one with the lack of listening can easily be experienced when sight reading on a silent keyboard. It is interesting to record myself playing on a silent keyboard and then play it back with the volume on, I really see how being deaf would be a curse as a performer. All dynamics and articulations are so consciously produced that when you listen back you can really hear that they are very mechanical and not commanded by sound, something that can really be a problem for developing pianists I've found.

It is thus important when choosing music for students that it allows them to listen to themselves predominantly and not get so caught up over the notes and technique. Chosen music must be at a level where they can hear the details in their playing and know when they are playing something right and wrong. This might require that they know the sound of a piece well before they start, recording pieces for them to listen to while they practice can be a good tool for them to use. Learning pieces that they already are familiar with is also a good way to ensure that they can listen to themselves. Take away the drugery of reading works in places where they have troubles listening to themselves, help them with position diagrams and fingering solutions so that they don't have to solve that on the fly as it takes away from their ability to hear themselves. It is also important to train them to anticipate sounds, this can be done by playing some notes and asking them to infer what the next note may be, playing a progression of chords and asking them what comes next, playing simply a melodic line and asking them to solve the chord that may fit with it and of course many more ideas. As they learn more simple pieces they can build their experience base and learn to anticipate sounds more readily. This also is true for their reading skills and rhythmic understanding, as their experience base grows they can anticipate more and more when they are playing and thus not be too consciously involved with the phsyical procedure and pay more attention to their sound production.
Those of us who have played for many years can draw upon expectations from all the music we have done in the past, that allows us to play peices we have never come across and play it with full expression immediately.


Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 02:47 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
That seems rather unintelligent and not in the spirit of sharing knowledge here about musical issues.

So now I'm "unintelligent." Great. Please keep up the personal attacks.

If you think cutting and pasting your old posts to PW means "sharing knowledge here about musical issues," I don't know what to say. You are simply looking for praise, kudos, and adoration. Your "essays" are so unique in their poor sentence construction. All I had to do is to pick out a particularly ungrammatical sentence and google it, and I can find the source.

Maybe PW should start a new rule about cutting and pasting.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by malkin
Then, rather than happily engaging in discussion about either ideas or style, OP responds with hostility to any thing other than adoration.

Hey, I went to school with a couple of people like that. They are classic examples of narcissists.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 03:10 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
That seems rather unintelligent and not in the spirit of sharing knowledge here about musical issues.

So now I'm "unintelligent." Great. Please keep up the personal attacks.

I said it is unintelligent with context to this:

"You simply told them to let people cast their unconstructive personal attack at me and not to complain about it, which I think is rather silly, you want people on pianoworld to cast personal attacks and promote irrelevant kibitizing? That seems rather unintelligent and not in the spirit of sharing knowledge here about musical issues."

Amazing when context is revealed that your out of context accusation does not hold water one bit. Unless you are admitting that what I said in this quote I have pasted up here is what you stand for, I would feel ashamed if that were true as it is indeed unintelligent.


Originally Posted by AZNpiano

If you think cutting and pasting your old posts to PW means "sharing knowledge here about musical issues," I don't know what to say. You are simply looking for praise, kudos, and adoration. Your "essays" are so unique in their poor sentence construction. All I had to do is to pick out a particularly ungrammatical sentence and google it, and I can find the source.

Not all my music related posts have been from pianostreet and those that are I am also adding and elaborating on old ideas of mine. So this is like a 2nd updated version. So again your story making is irrelevant. I feel that ideas I posted on there also can be shared here for those who are not members of pianostreet, if you feel offended and hurt by that you need to go get some fresh air lol.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano

Maybe PW should start a new rule about cutting and pasting.

Lol!!! Sorry that is just funny. You feel so threatened by my interactions here you think rules need to be changed, love it!
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 03:13 PM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by malkin
Then, rather than happily engaging in discussion about either ideas or style, OP responds with hostility to any thing other than adoration.

Hey, I went to school with a couple of people like that. They are classic examples of narcissists.

Plenty of interactions with other people who disagreed with me on here where I am not hostile at all, please quote anywhere where I am hostile to anyone who is discussing music issues posted here. You cannot use anything from people who are throwing off subject unconstructive critique at me since I just call them up on their own judgemental attitudes and ignorance, if they feel offended then maybe they should have listened to their parents and if they don't have anything nice to say say nothing at all. I am sharing my knowledge here and enjoy doing so, you will not stop me.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 04:22 PM

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Plenty of interactions with other people who disagreed with me on here where I am not hostile at all, please quote anywhere where I am hostile to anyone who is discussing music issues posted here.

Really??

You want us to quote all your condescending, uninformed and rude rebuttals to those people who responded to your posts?





Quote
You cannot use anything from people who are throwing off subject unconstructive critique at me since I just call them up on their own judgemental attitudes and ignorance, if they feel offended then maybe they should have listened to their parents and if they don't have anything nice to say say nothing at all.

Aha!

The classic get-out clause. People who call you out on your silly posts are simply ignorant, and should have learnt from their parents when they were young to be nice to people who say idiotic things. And if they can't praise you to the skies, they should shut up.

So, it will always be a win-win situation for you, eh? wink

And of course, you are totally non-judgemental smirk grin ha.

Quote
I am sharing my knowledge here and enjoy doing so, you will not stop me.

Keep enjoying yourself, this thread is all yours to enjoy....... thumb
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/23/19 04:38 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

Plenty of interactions with other people who disagreed with me on here where I am not hostile at all, please quote anywhere where I am hostile to anyone who is discussing music issues posted here.

Really??

You want us to quote all your condescending, uninformed and rude rebuttals to those people who responded to your posts?

Yep please a single quote to support your story that I am being HOSTILE, otherwise you are just making things up. You don't have to quote ALL of it where did I say ALL? Just one will do, go find one example where someone was discussing musical issues and I was hostile, lets see how hostile I am, remember disagreeing is not being hostile, being hostile is quite specific.


Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

You cannot use anything from people who are throwing off subject unconstructive critique at me since I just call them up on their own judgemental attitudes and ignorance, if they feel offended then maybe they should have listened to their parents and if they don't have anything nice to say say nothing at all.

Aha!

The classic get-out clause. People who call you out on your silly posts are simply ignorant, and should have learnt from their parents when they were young to be nice to people who say idiotic things. And if they can't praise you to the skies, they should shut up.

Gosh your logic is killing puppies. People who kibitz with commentary that has nothing to do with music issues and merely want to try and personally attack me will not have me walking on eggshells around them. If you think I should be polite to them then why don't you be polite to me then? Just have a look at your initials to me lol, shall I copy paste some of it? Yes lets!

Originally Posted by bennevis

Just think: what would someone else reading your hyper-overinflated, egoistic, egotistic and pompous posts think of you as a teacher?


Originally Posted by bennevis

I felt myself losing the will to live when I read this


Gosh you are so polite and decent, flippantly using depression and suicide in your response and hurling a bunch of judgemental offtopic insults at me while you are at it.

I find it quite revealing that you are unable to respond to anything I called you up on, that just shows what kind of persona you want to exhibit on this thread.

Where have I told anyone to "shut up" who are disagreeing with the knowledge of this thread? I have not told them that at all and have elaborated and answered any questions they have, just go have a look yourself. You unfortunately are just making up stories to support yourself, the evidence is all in this thread and it shows that your story making is obvious.



Originally Posted by bennevis

So, it will always be a win-win situation for you, eh? wink

And of course, you are totally non-judgemental smirk grin ha.

How can I be judgemental when I am deflecting peoples personal attacks on me? That is again irrational logic on your behalf.


Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder

I am sharing my knowledge here and enjoy doing so, you will not stop me.

Keep enjoying yourself, this thread is all yours to enjoy....... thumb

I will and have been, noisy kibitzers dont bother me, I enjoy responding to them and highighting their judgemental ignorance.
Posted By: malkin

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/24/19 01:03 AM


Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
please a single quote to support your story that I am being HOSTILE.

I might have more time for this another day, but since you make it so easy:

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
...I enjoy... highighting their judgemental ignorance.
Posted By: AZNpiano

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/24/19 01:25 AM

The real question is: Do narcissists even realize that they are narcissistic?

I can overlook flawed logic and poor sentence construction, but narcissism is both irksome and noisome. THAT is the train wreck.
Posted By: outo

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/24/19 02:26 AM

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
The real question is: Do narcissists even realize that they are narcissistic?.


Often they do not. But these days the word is used a lot by people who know very little about what it really means.
Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/24/19 02:52 AM

Originally Posted by malkin

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
please a single quote to support your story that I am being HOSTILE.

I might have more time for this another day, but since you make it so easy:

Originally Posted by Lostinidlewonder
...I enjoy... highighting their judgemental ignorance.


So highlighting people's judgemental ignorance which are simply themselves hostile personal off topic attacks against me is being hostile? Hilarious logic you have there malkin.

Originally Posted by AZNpiano
The real question is: Do narcissists even realize that they are narcissistic?

I can overlook flawed logic and poor sentence construction, but narcissism is both irksome and noisome. THAT is the train wreck.

People like yourself simply like to fling attacks and not support themselves, when challenged to quote and support your made up stories you simply throw more insults, you have not supported yourself with anything have I have posted as soon as you guys try to do that we see how irrational you really are. You can tag me with whatever descriptor you like it just shows the type of person you want to be in this thread.

Ive already dealt with a number of your made up accusations about me and you are left unable to respond that shows you simply want to make noise and not actually say anything that is the truth.


Posted By: Lostinidlewonder

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/24/19 02:54 AM

Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
The real question is: Do narcissists even realize that they are narcissistic?.


Often they do not. But these says the word is used a lot by people who know very little about what it really means.

These noisy bunch tend to enjoy insulting others it doesn't require much knowledge really, I still wonder why they want to contribute to a piano forum in this manner, are they teaching people much about music topics? I think they treat this forum as their personal space and I'm invading that lol so will shake their puny fists at me all they can. So adorable smile
Posted By: Ken Knapp

Re: Always build up, never break down. - 05/24/19 09:42 AM

This topic has degenerated into nastiness and seems to be going nowhere. I think it is time to close.
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